Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Feb 7, 2012 01:05 PM

Northern or Southern Italian cooking class?

I have 2 options Northern or Southern Italian cooking.
Does anyone have a preference? I can't make an educated decision to be honest:)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would think you are more likely to see rice dishes, butter rather than olive oil, and maybe fewer pasta dishes. At least that's what I see when I compare my Northern and Southern Italian cookbooks, but I think I'd want to see what they'll be teaching. Isn't that available?

    1 Reply
    1. re: escondido123

      no sadly, it just says meals desserts and appetizers commonly found in Northern Italy and same for the Southern Italy class :/

    2. Without information about what they're making, it's hard to judge the level, and of course, north and south are both potentially terrific.

      You appear to post in Midwest boards (like me). I will suggest that if you are not close to a source of excellent seafoods, I'd pick the northern course, where a greater proportion of ingredients match your local environment or are more transportable/storable.

      For example, you can obtain terrific prosciutto, parmigiana cheese and meats in the midwest, but good luck landing some excellent buffalo mozzarella or dry-packed sardines (southern Italy favorites). That said, if the ingredients are solid, you're off to a great start either way.

      1 Reply
      1. It all depends on what you mean by "northern" and "southern".There are no really valid distinctions so broadly made. Is "northern" Piedmont, Venice, Friuli, Liguria, all very different styles and repertoires? Rice does not figure in Liguria, for example, while it does in Piedmont. Olive oil does, however. Or is "southern" Neapolitan urban or Basilicatan/Puglian country rustic? And aren't Tuscan and Umbrian "central"?The ingredient base should be OK for either, save for rare perishables like fresh truffles and even buffalo mozzarella (though if Costco can cary this cheese, you should find it somewhere). It's the range of tastes, ingredients, and styles that really should determine your investment---if you like the dishes being taught, go for it. You can always take the next course. There's no right or wrong, even speaking as a Calabrian-American who'd lose no sleep if he never had a fresh truffle.

        1. You'd have to know exactly what is being offered in terms of recipes before making a choice. Northern Italian to me means Piedmonte, so fairly germanic in character. Southern Italian to me means Sicilian which is a whole different arena.
          Hard to say...just depends what piques your personal interest.

          1. I am going to call and get more information on the dishes offered. For $300 plus dollars it should be in the damn class description :)

            5 Replies
            1. re: danionavenue

              EXACTLY. Then just go with what interests you! And let us know what's on the menu!

              1. re: danionavenue

                Wow, that's serious money. I'd want to know pretty exactly what lies in store.

                I've only attended one or two cooking demonstrations at my local upscale supermarket (which has a kitchen for courses), and in each case, I felt the level of instruction was pitched too low for it to be very educational for me. The gathering itself can be entertaining. But for $300, I'd want to know the substance of the event in advance.

                1. re: Bada Bing

                  It is a 6 week course, meeting once a week for 4 hours. It is a continuing education class at george brown culinary school in Toronto.

                  1. re: danionavenue

                    Well, now that sounds like a pretty good deal! Still, see if they have menus or at least a regional plan (Bologna week, Venice week, etc.).

                2. re: danionavenue

                  I agree with this. I mean, for $300, they should include at least a few of the examples.

                  Knowing what I do of the 2 (which is not much, but some), I would probably pick southern as that's more what my tastes tend towards, but I think you probably can't go wrong with either one as long as it's a good instructor.