Parmigiana
Place of originItaly
Region or stateSouthern Italy (Calabria, Campania, Apulia and Sicily)
Main ingredientsEggplant, tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, basil, salt

Parmigiana (/ˌpɑːrmɪˈɑːnə, -ˈʒɑː-/, Italian: [parmiˈdʒaːna]), also called parmigiana di melanzane (Italian: [parmiˈdʒaːna di melanˈdzaːne; -ˈtsaːne]), melanzane alla parmigiana (Italian: [melanˈdzaːne; -ˈtsaːne ˌalla parmiˈdʒaːna]) or, in the United States, eggplant parmesan, is an Italian dish made with fried, sliced eggplant layered with cheese and tomato sauce, then baked.[1][2][3][4] The origin of the dish is claimed by the southern regions of Calabria, Campania, Apulia and Sicily.

History

There are several theories about the origin of the dish. Most frequently its invention is attributed to either Parma, Sicily or Campania.[5][6] The case for Parma is that parmigiana refers to Parma and because Parmesan cheese is produced there. Sicilian food writers have several different explanations for a Sicilian origin. According to author Pino Correnti, the word parmigiana derives from the Sicilian word for damigiana, a wicker sleeve used both for wine bottles and the hot casserole in which the dish would be prepared and served. Authors Mary Taylor Simeti, Vincent Schiavelli, and several others write that the name derives from the Sicilian word for 'louver', palmigiana. The angled horizontal slats of a louver would resemble the layering of eggplant slices in the dish. Writer Franca Colonna Romano Apostolo suggests that the name is parmiciana, which means 'Persian' in Sicilian.[7][8]

Wright traces the origin of parmigiana to Naples. The ancestor of the modern dish appears in Vincenzo Corrado's cookbook Il cuoco galante from 1786. His recipe described eggplant seasoned with butter, herbs, cinnamon, other spices and grated Parmesan cheese, which was then covered with a cream sauce of egg yolks before being baked in an oven. The modern version with Parmesan and tomato ragù as key ingredients appears several years later in Ippolito Cavalcanti's cookbook Cucina teorico-pratica, which was published in Naples in 1837. According to Wright, this suggests that the dish evolved in Naples during this time frame, which coincided with the increasing popularity of the tomato in Italian cuisine.[9][10] Author Marlena Spieler agrees with a Neapolitan origin of the dish for the same reasons.[11]

Preparation

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The dish consists of sliced eggplant, pan fried in oil, layered with tomato sauce and cheese and baked in an oven.

In some versions, the sliced filling is first dipped in beaten eggs and dredged in flour or breadcrumbs before frying. Some recipes use hard grated cheeses, such as Parmesan, while others use softer melting cheeses such as mozzarella, or a combination of these.

Italian variations

In Cosenza, parmigiana is prepared with fried zucchini and baked eggplants. It is typically made in layers with grated fresh mozzarella and grated Parmesan.

In Naples, parmigiana is also prepared using zucchini or artichokes in place of eggplants.[12]

International variations

Variations made with breaded meat cutlets, such as veal and chicken, have been popularized in other countries, usually in areas of Italian immigration. In such areas, the original dish may be called "eggplant parmesan" to distinguish it from the meat versions.

In the United States and Canada, chicken parmesan and veal parmigiana are frequently served as a main course, often with a side of pasta. The alternative anglicization Parmesan is sometimes used instead, and the abbreviated form parm is common. The use of meats as an alternate to eggplant originated in the United States, where it was influenced by similar Italian dishes. A similar veal dish is known in Italian as cotoletta alla bolognese, which excludes tomato sauce but includes melted Parmesan cheese and prosciutto.[13] Cotolette alla parmigiana is another similar veal dish, but in Italy it is generally served without sauce or cheese.

Chicken parmigiana is also a common dish in Australia and is often served with a side of chips or salad. In Australia, where the name is often shortened to parma[14] or parmi,[15] it may also contain a variety of toppings, including sliced ham or bacon.[16]

In Argentina and in other neighboring South American countries, veal or chicken parmigiana is topped with ham and served with French fries. It is known as milanesa a la napolitana.[17][18][19][20][21] If the dish is topped with a fried egg, it is known as milanesa a caballo, but omits the tomato sauce.[22][23]

In England, parmo uses either pork or chicken topped with béchamel sauce instead of tomato sauce.[24]

See also

Media related to Parmigiana at Wikimedia Commons

References

  1. ^ "Eggplant Parmesan: The Traditional Recipe". La Cucina Italiana. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  2. ^ "Easy Eggplant Parmigiana". La Cucina Italiana. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  3. ^ "Parmigiana, Please: Not Just Eggplant!". La Cucina Italiana. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  4. ^ "Eggplant parmigiana". La Cucina del Tramonto d’Oro. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  5. ^ "The Eggplant Parmigiana: one dish, many versions - true-italian.com". 2020-02-20. Archived from the original on 2023-04-04. Retrieved 2023-04-04.
  6. ^ "What's the Deal With Eggplant Parmigiana?". La Cucina Italiana. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  7. ^ "Eggplant Parmesan, its History and Italian Origins". La Cucina Italiana. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  8. ^ Wright, Clifford A. (2012). Mediterranean Vegetables: A Cook's Compendium of All the Vegetables from the World's Healthiest Cuisine, with More Than 200 Recipes. Boston, Massachusetts: The Harvard Common Press. pp. 133–134. ISBN 9781558327757. Archived from the original on 2024-04-30. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  9. ^ "Eggplant Parmesan, its History and Italian Origins". La Cucina Italiana. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  10. ^ Wright, Clifford A. (2012). Mediterranean Vegetables: A Cook's Compendium of All the Vegetables from the World's Healthiest Cuisine, with More Than 200 Recipes. Boston, Massachusetts: The Harvard Common Press. pp. 133–134. ISBN 9781558327757. Archived from the original on 2024-04-30. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  11. ^ Spieler, Marlena (2018). A Taste of Naples: Neapolitan Culture, Cuisine, and Cooking. London: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 189–191. ISBN 9781442251267. Archived from the original on 2024-04-30. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  12. ^ Francesconi, Jeanne Caròla (1995) [1965]. La vera cucina di Napoli (in Italian). Roma: Newton Compton Editori. pp. 219–20. ISBN 8881830213.
  13. ^ "Cotoletta alla bolognese" (in Italian). accademiaitalianadellacucina.it. Archived from the original on 2019-07-03. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  14. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-14. Retrieved 2017-05-24.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ Peucker, Christie (2011-01-02). "They're the parmi police Duo in quest for Adelaide's best". Sunday Mail. Adelaide, South Australia. p. 20. Archived from the original on 2015-08-15. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  16. ^ Levin, Darren (2004-08-07). "Keeping abreast of the Parma best". The Age. Melbourne, Victoria. p. A2.2. Archived from the original on 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  17. ^ Pisarro, Marcelo (2012-05-11). "Milanesa napolitana". Clarín (Argentine newspaper) (in Spanish). Buenos Aires, Argentina. Archived from the original on 2014-05-17. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  18. ^ Pisarro, Marcelo (2012-05-11). "Milanesa napolitana". Clarín (Argentine newspaper) (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2014-05-17. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  19. ^ "Milanesa a la napolitana". El Reporte (in Spanish). 2013-04-25. Archived from the original on 2021-11-09. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  20. ^ "El origen de la milanesa". ABC Color (in Spanish). 2013-04-13. Archived from the original on 2014-05-17.
  21. ^ Asier, Soren (2012-07-13). "Clásica milanesa napolitana de Argentina". iMujer (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2015-06-18. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  22. ^ "Milanesa a caballo". tasteatlas.com. Archived from the original on April 13, 2020. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  23. ^ "Milanesa 'on horseback' with french fries". bodegaargento.com. Archived from the original on April 13, 2020. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  24. ^ "Teesside's fast food sensation". BBC. 6 November 2011. Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2014.