What is authentic in Italian food and does it really matter?

I am proud to deeply understand what Italian food is and what makes it authentic. I know the
difference between carciofi alla giudea – fried artichokes twice in the style of a Roman ghetto
and carciofi alla romana, artichokes sprinkled with garlic and mint in the style of Rome. I know
that acqua cotta, one of the classics of Tuscan cuisine, comes in at least three radically
different versions, depending on the part of Tuscany you are in.
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I know that even if an Italian
had never sprayed grated Parmigiano over seafood pasta, he would have liked to have eaten
crostiniwith melted mozzarella and anchovies. I know asparagus and tomatoes aren’t cooked
together, because wherever you are, they’re not together in season. I know that cooking
vegetables for a long time is a trademark of Italian food wherever you are: no green beans or
badly scalded asparagus for Italians, please!
I believe that my understanding of the combination of flavours of fresh mozzarella,
tomatoes ripened in the sun, basil and olive oil is the basis that can lead me to many
dishes beyond the simple insalata classic Caprese that I ate for the first time.

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