Forget about the 7 wonders of the world for a minute; come to Italy! From the wonderfully alluring historic buildings to the fantastic food, to the renaissance art laced by culture, Italy is built to thoroughly take your breath away!
If you want to become a respected gastronome, Italy should be your first stop! Today, I’ll be sharing 10 sumptuous Italian foods to try when you visit!
Filled in every nook and cranny with passionate people, Italy is well-known for its cuisine and typical dishes worldwide. Every region and city has its own unique culinary tradition. If you can’t try all these dishes, eat at least one of them.
*PS: When you’re in Italy and don’t know the way to a great restaurant, ask the locals. They’ll be more than happy to direct you to the nicest & nearest restaurant to you.
Are you ready!? Wipe your palettes! Let’s begin!
1. SPAGHETTI AI FRUTTI DI MARE/ SEAFOOD SPAGHETTI:
Spaghetti is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine, and everyone, I mean everyone, in Italy eats spaghetti [which is part of the Pasta family]. The seafood spaghetti is one of the most popular recipes in Mediterranean cuisine. It is a simple dish to prepare. The essential ingredients are: Clams, mussels and prawns – cooked with garlic and tomato. You absolutely have to try this in a great restaurant.
2. BISTECCA ALLA FIORENTINA/ FIORENTINE STEAK :
This dish is a traditional recipe from Firenze (Florence city also known as Michelangelo city). The Florentine Steak is a cut of meat that is prepared from the loin area, near the leg of the young female bovine. It is also called the T-Bone steak because of the T-shaped bone in the middle. It is never overcooked (except in my case😆). The meat is always tender, red and juicy inside. It continues to cook for few minutes even after it’s removed from the fire. If you want to eat this meat, I would advise you to find a very good restaurant with great rating on Trip Advisor. Make your research well.
Tortelli is a type of stuffed pasta that is traditionally made in the Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, and Tuscany regions of Italy. I love Tortelli, especially Tortelli di Zucca ( pumpkin tortelli). It is made with fresh pasta. There are different shapes of stuffed pasta, some of which are: Ravioli, Tortelli, Tortellini, Agnolotti & Anolini. Tortelli, like other stuffed pasta can be eaten with grated Parmesan cheese, butter, Ragù (an Italian sauce typically made with minced meat, onions, tomato puree, and red wine). Tortellini broth, is the classic Christmas dish for most Italians.
It’s no news that Italy has got the best pizza in the world😉. Each region has its own type of Pizza. But the best pizza can be found in Napoli (Naples city).The Napolitan pizza is the most popular and best baked pizza in the world, because it represents the best-known pizza style in the world.
Photo by Wills M from Pexels
Pizza a 4 stagioni ( ham, mushrooms, artichokes, olive)
One of the things that makes the Italian Pizza stand out is the choice of refined type 00 or 0 flour, the use of fresh brewer’s yeast in varying percentages; aided by small percentages of advanced dough from the processing of previous days and the cooking technique.
Polenta is an ancient dish very common in the regions of northern Italy. It is made from yellow or white cornmeal. Polenta is either eaten in porridge, grilled, baked, or fried form. It is also the main food in Trentino Alto Adige Region. You can eat it with mushrooms. meat, fish, vegetables, cheese, etc.
6. TAGLIATELLE AL RAGU’ BOLOGNESE:
Tagliatelle is a type of pasta that is mostly mistaken for Spaghetti by non-Italians. It is flatter and thicker than ‘regular’ Spaghetti. Tagliatelle is a first-course traditional meal invented in Bologna, Italy. It is mostly served with the Bolognese sauce, which is a meat-based sauce. It is also the same sauce used in preparing Lasagna alla Bolognese.
7. GNOCCHI DI PATATE/POTATO GNOCCHI:
Gnocchi (pronounced “Nyo-key”) di patate is a typical Italian dish prepared with potatoes. Each Region has its own way of preparing it. Some use water and flour, but the common type of Gnocchi are made with potatoes.
It is normally cooked in salted boiling water and dressed with sauces like: tomato sauce, pesto (A green sauce originated in Genoa, Italy. Made of basil, garlic, pine nut, extra-virgin olive oil, and grated cheese), butter and sage.
Gnocchi made with spinach and potatoes
I’ve never met an Italian that doesn’t eat prosciutto. It is a dry-cured ham, that is usually sliced very thinly and then served uncooked. Prosciutto is made from the thigh of a Pig. The meat is firstly dressed with a specific knife, then covered with salt, and left to rest in the fridge for a week. After a week, the pig’s thigh is salted again to prevent bacteria from entering the meat. The meat is later washed and left to dry at a controlled temperature for certain months. The older the pork, the sweeter it is.
In Italy, we have “The Prosciutto Crudo” which is a raw cured ham, and “Prosciutto Cotto” Which is a cooked ham. My favorite is the Prosciutto Crudo. The two most famous hams are: Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto di San Daniele.
Prosciutto can be eaten with bread, and alone as an appetizer. It can also be used in main dishes. During the hot season, I love to eat it with cantaloupes.
This is the most famous Italian dessert in the world. It is absolutely simple to make. The main ingredients are egg yolk, mascarpone, Savoiardi (Ladyfingers… I had to Google it in English😂🙊) soaked in sweetened coffee and cocoa powder. Tiramisù always stands out with it’s aesthetically pleasing appeal!
Almost everyone knows that Italian gelato is the best in the world. You can’t come to Italy without tasting Gelato. I’m a proud gelato addict😋😜.
Artisan gelato has a soft texture and creaminess that makes it quite different from all other types of ice-cream. It is creamier and with a less intense flavor. It also has less fat and sugar.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I know your taste buds have been properly stimulated. If you have questions or other dishes you’d like to share, kindly ask them in the comment section.
Thanks for reading, xoxo!
(IMAGE CREDITS: Some of the pictures used in this post are from Pexels, Flickr, unsplash, and me😊)