Italy – Insalata Caprese (Caprese Salad)


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ABOUT THE DISH

The Italian cuisines are on top of the world for a reason. These cuisines are not only about the taste and its appearance. Rather each dish represents something about its country. Its history shows what was behind its creation and what the dish means to its people. You will found countless dishes like these in the culinary books but this is the dish which you will never expect in it , mostly because of what type of dish it is. Yes I’m talking about the Caprese Salad. You will all think how can a salad be involved in the rich history of the Italian cuisine and I will tell you exactly how but first lets take a deeper look in what the dish really is. Caprese salad is the Italian word for Insalata Caprese. It is a simple salad made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and then topped of with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Well as we can see that this salad is very easy to make and requires only a few minutes but its taste is the one which attracts a person towards it. It is rich in flavor, it is acidic and the balance of these ingredients is just perfect. This salad can be found in every restaurant scattered throughout whole of Italy. It is mainly served as a starter dish to get the people comfy for their afternoon. It can be eaten at any time and for those people who are very strict diet conscious it is a great dish to eat. This salad is the way to go with a heavy dish and it balance outs the dish and helps the human body as well. It is a great historical dish of the Italian cuisine and more details about it are mentioned below.

MEANING OF THE NAME

As I have mentioned above that in Italian it is called Insalata Caprese but why it is called it. When translated Insalata Caprese means “Salad Of Capri”. Capri is an island located near the city of Naples. It is said that this salad was first made there and that is why it is named after it.

BUT WHY IT IS SO FAMOUS?

This question may have arose to many people while seeing this article which is why is it so famous ? It is just a simple salad. Like I wrote in the introduction part that there are some dishes which are not only famous for its taste rather than what it represents and this dish represents the whole Italy. If you look at the choice of the ingredients used to make it you will know that these ingredients are of the same color as the National flag of Italy: green, white and red. This dish represents the freedom for the people and indicates that all the people here are equal and are there for one another. These choice of ingredients were used on purpose and when you plate this salad in an order you will see the Italian flag colors and this brings a smile to the faces of the people eating it.

ORIGIN AND HISTORY

Like many other dishes the true origin of this salad is unknown but now it is said to be originated in Caprese which I will explain about it just shortly. Dishes with great and rich histories inspires many people. They are inspired in many ways some want to try these dishes and feel its flavors and some are deeply fallen in love with its country by just listening to these stories. This type of story is a part of this dish.

It is said that after the first World War half of the world was in despair. There were many faces which were happy that it was over and there were some faces which were in shock after the aftermath. There was a patriotic stone worker who created this dish to pay a tribute to its fallen soldiers and its loving country. He chose those ingredients which were the color of Italy’s national flag and made a salad. This salad was first noticed in the year 1920 and then was introduced in the menu of a hotel named Quisisana. But this salad really became famous in the year 1950. It is said that in 1950 King Farouk one afternoon requested for something light to eat and he was presented with a sandwich that had tomatoes, cheese and basil in it which were the similar ingredients used in making the salad. This shows that this salad was an invention of the 20th century and nowadays it is famous worldwide and mostly in Italy when it is served the waiter explains its origins and history to those tourists who visit there and eat Italian food.

Another story regarding this salad was that in the early 20th century this salad was served to some on vacation royalties and politicians. They really enjoyed this salad and all the other stuff which was served to them and had a great time.

VARIATIONS

There are many variations of Caprese salad all over the world. In each country there is a spin off version of it which is similarly tasty to the original one. Some of these versions area as follows.

  • VIETNAMESE CAPRESE: In Vietnam these is a version of this salad which consists of similar ingredients but added to those ingredients are the noodles and a sauce which is made from tomatoes.
  • CAPRESE DAIQUIRI: Mathias Simonis created this version of Caprese salad by adding wine and extra garnishes like olives and pickled peppers.
  • ZUPPA CAPRESE : In this versions buffaloe mozzarella is used which is creamy version of the cheese and it is blended to give it a soup like texture.
  • CAPRESE BURGER : There are some occasions in which the salad ingredients were used inside of a burger made from beef. It gave an exquisite taste and the combination was very well received.
  • CHICKEN CAPRESE SALAD : Small pieces of chicken are added in this salad to give it more taste and diversity.
  • SANDWICH CAPRESE : Like mentioned in the history section there is a version of it in which the salad ingredients are added in a sandwich to give it a great context and a good meal.

INGREDIENTS REQUIRED TO MAKE IT

  • Tomatoes
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Basil 1/3 cup
  • Balsamic glaze 2 tbsps.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

STEPS TO MAKE IT

  • The steps to make the salad is very simple.
  • Firstly slice your tomatoes.
  • Slice the mozzarella cheese.
  • Slice the basil leaves.
  • Take a dish and place the tomatoes first.
  • Then add the cheese in front of the tomatoes.
  • Lastly add the basil leaves in between them both to give it an Italian flag type look.
  • To finish the salad add some salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle some olive oil on the salad.
  • Also add the balsamic vinegar on the salad.
  • Your dish is complete .Enjoy

TIME REQUIRED

PREPERATION TIME : 5 minutes
ASSEMBLING TIME : 2 minutes
TOTAL TIME : 7 minutes
YIELDS : 3-4 servings

NUTRITION FACTS

Calories 220
Total Fat
18g
Cholesterol
43mg
Total Carbohydrates
5g
Sugars
4g
Protein
16g
Sodium
450mg
Potassium
270mg

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