The thing that people seem to be forgetting about Italian food is that it’s a peasant diet:
It has long been lauded by doctors across the world for its health benefits and life-lengthening properties, but it appears the Mediterranean diet is becoming increasingly unpopular in Italy.
A study has shown that fewer than half of Italians now eat a traditional diet rich in vegetables, olive oil, pasta and fish.
Instead, many people are turning to foods more commonly found in the British or North American diet, including red meat and butter.
Scientists at the Institute of Clinical Physiology in Pisa found that a diet low in fruit and vegetables and high in dairy and protein was linked with obesity – a phenomenon once rare in Italy, but now increasingly common.
It also changes hugely depending upon what region you’re in. A spaghetti carbonara, for example, from the south would be dry, one from the north likely to have cream in the sauce. Partly farming differences, partly the north has always been richer than the south (in modern times at least).
And as people move away from being peasants, get richer, then their diet quite naturally changes. Which is pretty much what is going on here.