Bitter. An Italian taste
It is said that bitterness is a difficult taste, an ‘adult’ taste, which requires experience and the ability to distinguish different flavours: bitterness has many nuances that it is important to distinguish because some are pleasant, others suspicious and they could even be dangerous. Taste is therefore also, or perhaps above all, a cultural fact, which is why different societies have different tastes. And if we say that ‘Italians’ are particularly accustomed to liking bitter flavours, we are not talking about a natural predisposition but a cultural habit, a product of history. Massimo Montanari, as a historian, thus delves into the complexities of this taste, tracing a distinctive trait typical of ancient, medieval, Renaissance cuisine: that of holding flavours together in recipes of considerable complexity.