Posted by on 01 Nov 2019 , in Europe
Italy is not just a country with beautiful views from every direction; it’s also a country with a delicious and diverse cuisine. Throughout the world, the Italian cuisine is one of the most recognisable and replicated. From the humble pasta to cured meat, your palate will be treated to a delicious journey through all Italy has to offer.
Though one visit is not enough to eat every good dish, starting with the local favourites is a good way to go.
Almost synonymous to the word ‘Italian,’ the pizza pie is one of the most beloved foods all over the world. Though it’s been interpreted by many, the original pizza can be found in the southern city of Naples. Made with fresh tomato sauce, and topped with mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, tomatoes, and olive oil, the Margherita is of course the classic Napoli pizza.
Yet another classic, the spaghetti carbonara is a simple but delectable dish originating from capital of Italy – Rome. Others often make the mistake of using cream for the sauce, but the authentic carbonara is made with pasta, eggs, pancetta or guanciale (pork cheeks), Romano, and black pepper.
You say, ‘ice cream,’ the Italians say, ‘gelato.’ This beloved dessert is softer than ice cream but rich in flavour. It has a high density because of its higher proportion of milk, and it’s churned slowly. Having far less fat than your average ice cream, you can have a scoop after each meal without the guilt. Grab a cone when you visit Florence, Rome, or Venice.
From a poor man’s dish to a hearty meal, lasagna has made a name for itself as a comfort food for some homes. The flat pasta is handmade and layered with ragù, a meat-based sauce, and Béchamel sauce in between. It’s, then, topped with Parmigiana or mozzarella or both. Though there’s no final consensus as to where it specifically originated from, Emilia-Romagna remains the best contender for the most authentic version of a lasagna dish.
Grown only in the wild, truffle is one of the world’s rarest and most coveted culinary ingredient. Only trained hounds and pigs can detect the fungus underground, and Italy is abundant with them. Its signature aroma and taste can be added to pasta, sauce, steak, eggs, chocolate and more. Where better to go on a truffle quest than in Italy’s own truffle region – Piedmont?
Originating from Northern Italy, this creamy rice dish is luxury on a plate. After the onions are sautéed in butter, the beef or chicken broth is added with the rice and cooked slowly on low heat. Other ingredients are added depending on the region. The most iconic version of risotto belongs to Milan – the rice is infused with saffron and white wine is poured with the broth.
Before the introduction of pasta to the Italy, polenta was the staple dish in the homes of Northern Italy. It’s essentially a porridge made from grains, but is now made from cornmeal topped with anything from cheese to peppers to sausages.
Famously associated with Tuscany, ribollita claims its roots from peasantry. The origin story says that servants would gather the leftovers of their master’s meals and heat it up as a broth, adding bread for texture. The savory soup has vegetables like beans, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and celery. After it’s stewed for an hour, a bowl would make for a filing meal.
Another popular desert in Italy comes from the region of Veneto. Tiramisu is a no-bake pastry delight favoured by many locals after dinner. It features an alternating layers of mascarpone cheese and coffee-soaked ladyfingers or cookies. But not all tiramisu is made the same, some like to add cocoa or rum for additional taste.
Having evolved into a lifestyle, the coffee scene in Italy is unlike any other. Firstly, they don’t call it a café but a bar, and you’ll most likely see the locals drinking their cup standing up. When you order coffee, you’ll get an espresso. For a strong and creamy cup, head to Naples.