Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

alla the Italian equivalent of the French à la as an indicator of the style in which a dish has been prepared, has been used with relative restraint. Most alla phrases are topographical; those referring to a person, or to an ingredient or utensil or general concept (alla casalinga, in the style of home cookery), are rare.

This is a difference between Italian practice and that of France. Another difference, although only of degree, is that in Italy the meaning of phrases such as alla romana/milanese/fiorentina/napoletana will almost certainly vary according to what it is that is being cooked, whereas in France such variations, although they occur, are somewhat less common.