Italy is famous for a number of fantastic reasons: its deep cultural heritage, the stunning Coliseum in Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa; the warm, Mediterranean climate and the romantic language. However, there is one thing that defines the country more than all of these: food. Italy is the spiritual home to every foodie on the planet. Some of the best chefs in the world are Italian. With that in mind, here is our complete list of food you simply must eat on your next trip to Italy.
We couldn’t create this list without pizza. Pizza is Italy’s greatest gift to the world. Trust me, Americans, you may think the Chicago deep crust is the best, but you’re wrong. Until you’ve been to Milan and savoured the thin, doughy base; you can’t even compare. With freshly grown tomatoes and thin parma ham, you’ll be in heaven.
Much like pizza, you’ll find Risotto in most restaurants around the world. Until you’ve been to Italy though, you haven’t tasted the original taste. The best Italian Risotto is thick with red wine, drizzled with truffle oil and topped with real parmesan. We think the best Risotto is hiding in the markets of Florence. Visit Emiliadelizia.com to find out more about these relish dishes.
There’s something about the Italian coffee that leaves its mark. For those in the UK and USA, you’ll find Italian coffee a very different experience. Ask for ‘un caffe’ and you’ll get an espresso. Italians serve coffee in espresso size as standard. Many will tell you that a better coffee can be found across the border in the French Riviera. But we disagree – Italian coffee deep, rich and perfect for those early mornings on the terrace.
Gnocchi is one of the lesser known Italian delicacies, but just as wonderful. Gnocchi is an interesting mix between pasta and potato. We’d probably class it as a small dumpling, but it’s full of texture and taste. Accompanied by a rich tomato sauce and cheese; it’s the perfect lunch.
For a late afternoon snack while wandering Italy’s gorgeous cities, you need a Gelato, or ice cream. Gelaterias can be found lining the streets of every Italian town with hundreds of flavours. The ice cream itself is thick, creamy and rich – just what you need in the summer Italian heat.
After pizza, Italy’s most famous export is pasta or spaghetti. Pasta forms the basis of most meals in this beautiful country so don’t think about them as carbs and try it for yourself. It will come in many different forms and it’s all down to personal preference. A simple pasta and pesto dish will make the perfect fresh meal at lunchtime, for example. On the other hand, a thick bolognese and meatball dish is the ideal rustic evening meal.
One of the big treats about visiting Italy is antipasti. You’ll notice something different about the country when you first arrive. When you buy a drink from a bar, it will set you back up to ten euros. This might seem expensive, but you get an entire plateful of meats, cheeses and salads. You’ll also get olives and some pasta. This is antipasti, and it’s the perfect grazing platter for your late evening drinks.
Well, now I’m salivating and dreaming of my first Italian meal – a simple pasta dish accompanied by a hearty red Chianti wine and it was definitely one to remember.