Staples of Italian Cuisine

Mark Marinello serves as director of the corporate treasury at Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., where he maintains responsibility for overseeing $11 billion of business activities. When not busy with his professional duties, Mark Marinello enjoys cooking Italian cuisine.

Italian food is so delicious that many people travel across the world to taste it in person. However, you can also try your hand at cooking Italian food at home. Before you start, stock up your pantry with some of these essential ingredients:

1. Extra-virgin olive oil: Italy alone consumes one-fifth of the olive oil produced globally, so this product is a must. The extra-virgin variety tastes and smells strong and fruity and has a low acid content.

2. Balsamic vinegar: Also important, this product is available in several varieties that vary in price. The most expensive is rich, thick, and sweetly tart, but most people opt for the thinner and tangier — and cheaper — varieties.

3. Cheeses: Mozzarella cheese is a staple in Italian diets. Additionally, most Italians keep a supply of grating cheeses on hand, including parmigiano-reggiano and grana padano.