The answer to why is it called Italian wedding soup is surprising because it’s not related to a wedding or marriage. However, you can also understand that wedding means union, which this soup represents.
Below, you’ll find the origin of the Italian wedding soup and if it’s even served at Italian weddings. And in case you’re also curious, you can read our separate blog on what is Italian wedding cake.
Everything To Know About Why Is It Called Italian Wedding Soup
What is the real name for Italian wedding soup?
The real name of the Italian wedding soup is Minestra Maritata. Translated, this soup would be called “wedded broths.”
This should give you an idea that this soup from Italy resembles a marriage. But instead of a literal recipe used in weddings, it’s a fusion or integration of flavors like a bride and groom being united in marriage.
Is the Italian wedding soup really served at weddings?
Contrary to its name, the Minestra Maritata, or Italian wedding soup, is not served at weddings. Instead, the origin of this soup and the reason why it’s called a wedding soup is because of its “married flavors.”
Known for their cuisine worldwide, the Italians created this dish from meats and vegetables. The resulting marriage of flavors helped it earn its name, which is even popular outside Italy.
Where did Italian wedding soup originate?
The Italian soup, or wedding soup as it is named, originated in Campania, which is in the South of Italy. It was linked to various traditional practices.
For example, this wedding soup with pork broth is related to the consumption of pigs in Caserta. The pork bones and prosciutto scraps create a tasty broth with other ingredients like dandelion greens and thistle to create a marriage of flavors.
When is Italian wedding soup eaten?
The Italian wedding soup is also eaten in Naples on St. Stephen’s Day in December. This version of the delicious pork soup uses beef and chicken broths, a marriage of flavors.
After all, Naples allows the availability of other ingredients to make a meatier and richer soup. Besides broth made from pork skin and scraps, the Neapolitan version of the Italian wedding soup also includes broth from the beef shank, chicken, and greens sourced around the volcano in Naples.
Furthermore, the wedding soup is consumed during Christmas and Easter in some parts of Italy. But due to the availability of ingredients during winter and spring, expect variations in the contents and flavor of the soup eaten at various times of the year.
Why is Italian wedding soup famous in the US?
According to Katie Parla from the Food Republic, it’s possible that the Minestra Maritata, or Italian wedding soup gained popularity in the US because of Campanians who immigrated to the US.
Of course, the recipe has changed because of the ingredients available in the US. For example, the greens would not be as diverse as the options available in Italy, and the absence of the practice of slaughtering pigs during winter created a recipe that calls for meatballs.
Nonetheless, the name remains even if the dish is not as authentic and precisely similar to its origins. After all, it’s still a celebration and unity of flavors.
What Are The Meatballs In Italian Wedding Soup Made Of?
The origin of the name Italian wedding soup comes from how it’s a soup that represents a marriage of flavors. Over time, the version in the US is not limited to using pork scraps but incorporates hearty meatballs instead.
There is no specific recipe for the meatballs in an Italian wedding soup as various cooks use meats from pork, chicken, and even beef. But if you’re interested in making them yourself, here’s a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis of the Food Network.
You’ll need a small grated onion, minced garlic, chopped Italian parsley, an egg, salt, a slice of white bread torn into pieces, 8 ounces each of ground beef and pork, half a cup of grated Parmesan, and some black pepper. Mix all the ingredients except the Parmesan and meat, which you’ll mix in later.
Then, spoon out a mixture to form the meatballs. Put the one-inch meatballs over a baking sheet until using it on the Italian wedding soup
Do You Put Egg In Italian Wedding Soup?
An egg is used as the binder for the meatballs used in some Italian wedding soup recipes.
Are you thinking of cooking for your wedding? Perhaps you can include an Italian meatball soup, so here are some tips on how to cater your own wedding.
Do Italians Actually Eat Italian Wedding Soup?
Italians eat the Italian wedding soup, originating in the South of Italy. You can also find this soup in Italian restaurants.
How Long Is Italian Wedding Soup Good In The Fridge?
If stored correctly in the fridge, your Italian wedding soup should be good for up to 5 days.
And that’s it! To recap why is it called Italian wedding soup is because it’s a marriage of flavors.
This is not because it’s served at Italian weddings despite the name. Regardless, make sure to try this delicious food when you have the chance to appreciate its name further.