Italians are known to be passionate about three things that start with the letter F: family, faith, and food. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the delicious options in Italy, so here’s a quick list of dishes and desserts you shouldn’t miss out on.
Italians take their appetizers seriously: from classics like olives, pickled vegetables and artichokes to heavier fare like fried calamari, a selection of cured meat and bread, there’s always something worth nibbling on before the main meal.
You can get a range of great pizza anywhere in Italy, but Naples is the place to be if you want to go the extra mile. Look for pizzerias that have been around for a long time, such as Da Michele from 1870 or Brandi from 1889. The latter claims that it created the first margherita pizza, naming it after Italy’s first queen.
Want a light pastry to go with your cappuccino or to something to tide you over before a bigger meal? Try sfogliatelle, a pastry filled with ricotta or sweet cream.
Calling all meat lovers, this one has your name on it! A porchetta is a slow-roasted pork belly, usually marinated in fennel, garlic, herbs, and orange peel before cooking. Considered as one of the classic Italian street food, the porchetta is best served with bread rolls or in between focaccia bread.
Coffee, cocoa, and mascarpone make up this iconic Italian dessert.
Typically made from leftover risotto, this dish proves that leftovers need not be boring. These rice balls are usually stuffed with rage and mozzarella, then coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried to perfection. Perfect for snacking while sightseeing!
Italian pasta is quite different from the meaty, saucy versions that we’ve come to know and love. In Italy, they do it best through simple but meaningful ingredients: cacio e pepe, with pecorino romano and black pepper; carbonara with eggs, pecorino cheese, and guanciale; pesto alla Genovese served with basil, garlic, olive oil, parmesan, and pine nuts.
Milan’s osso buco is a hearty dish made from a bone-in veal shank, typically slow-cooked in a broth of meat stock, vegetables, and white wine, then served on a bed of polenta or risotto. It’s not a common dish served in Italian restaurants as it takes a lot of cooking time, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to sample it if you spot it on a menu!
A must for any traveler with a sweet tooth! Make sure you go for the gelato shops selling all-natural and fresh gelato daily, such as the Como il Latte in Rome, Il Massimo Del Gelato in Milan, La Carraia in Florence, or Gelateria Alaska in Venice.
Main Image Credit: The Wayward Post
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