Italy – a country of coffee and wine, never ending rows of scooters, loudly talking people, oh and..blue glistening sea. At least, this is my Italy.
Italy is a country which dont really value rules (and I don t mean it as an insult). But when it comes to eating rules`, than we start talking.
We all cognize that Italy is a beautiful country with history about everyone knows something, with noteworthy cultural heritage preserved to this day. And it is definitely a country, which had a big influence on historical development of the world, as we know it nowadays.
When I remember on my travels through Italy, the first what comes to my mind is an Italian food culture, which is now so widespread in the world that even many of us don`t consider Italy as a cradle of mickle current tastes. But without Italy would our world taste a bit different, don´t you think so?
How does Italy taste like? It is not just pizza and pasta I can promise you 🙂 I traveled through Italy for one week but I tried to see as much as I could and taste Italian lifestyle as they do just, maybe in bit of wilder condition 😀
I have to mention, that I really felt that one week of Italian food was enough for me. Even if it was so tasteful, I´m not used to eat so much white flower, tomatoes, or sugar. I traveled through 8 cities and below I choose 9 dishes and special beverages in places where I have been. Enjoy reading 🙂
1. Caffe and Cornetto in Pisa (or everywhere)
I started my journey through Italy with typical Italian breakfast in Pisa. My friend, who spent in Italy 4 months on Erasmus, recommended that Caffee&Cornetto is something what I can´t miss. And I didn´t, in true, I think that it was my each morning breakfast combination for whole week, as I love to sit on terrace with great tasteful coffee and something sweet to fill my stomach. Coffee and croissant is now spreaded and you can enjoy it almost everywhere in the world. French people could dispute that this is their typical breakfast but cornetto is not a croissant, so don´t be ensnared. Cornetto is softer and sweater than Croissant, usually filled with various kind of filling (chocolate, jam, honey..) and topped with powder sugar.
Origin of cornetto
Are you interested how has the history of cornetto started? Cornetto and croisant are both breakfast pastries, which were adapted to contemporary preferences of each culture with the same outsets, starting in Austria in 13 century. According to the legend, the shape of croisant should refer to Islamic crescent as a celebration of the defeat of the Umayyad forces by the Franks at the Battle of Tours in 732. Variation of croissant can be find also in Argentina, Portugal, Poland or Turkey.
But if you are super interested into story and claim for more detailed information, Wikipedia can help you.
This is Italian breakfast style, don`t expect eggs or sausages, because you will be disappointed.
3. Strawberies and wine in Firenze
Firenze is a lovely city. Full of young beautiful people and with free, almost holiday´s atmosphere. I felt completely relaxed and just wanted to sit on grass in each park which we were crossing, or take a coffee break on terrace of each coffee house to soak that peaceful atmosphere.
If you are passing by Firenze what you definitely should not miss is the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo. Take some nice food (I recommend strawberries as I love them so much and you can easily share them with random people) a bottle of (white) wine, couple of friends or just come by yourself with good mood and enjoy this memorable experience, when people of various age, gender, nationality, mood, expectation meet up at one place to enjoy a beautiful sunset above view of magical Firenze in her purest beauty.
Tell me, isn´t it beautiful? 🙂
4.Focaccia at Firenze
-What people did eat before pizza?
Foccacia is considered as predecessor of pizza. It is is a flat oven-baked Italian bread and can be topped with various kind of herbs, cheese, vegetable or meat. It is really tasty and you can choose whatever you want to have inside. Italy is kind of expensive country and eating outside is not always so cheap, but on other hand, for me, one Foccacia was enough for almost whole day. Not for everyone but, we understand each other 🙂 You definitely won`t be hungry after Foccacia.
5. Gelato in Possitano
The morning when I choose this colorful combination for my breakfast, started when I opened my eyes and in front of me was smiling Italian elderly man welcoming me in new day with amusement “Buongiorno” as he found a group of four backpackers sleeping, kind of on his way to work in lovely Possitano.
I`m a big lover of ice-cream and Italian gelato is the best which I have tried so far. And it is no surprise as Gelato is known as type of ice-cream made in Italian style.
So what is an Italian style and what so obviously distinguish it from American ice-cream? You will recognize immediately after the first bite that is fruitier, fresher and sweater. (Italian love sugar apparently.) An answer for why it is like that is probably, as the milk is used instead of cream and the final substance contains less amount of an air.
I found this amazing article about how to order gelato in Italy, so please, enjoy.
6. Limoncello in Sorrento
If you travel somewhere over Amalfi coast, you have a nice chance to stumble into tasting of homemade Limoncello. If you guessing that main ingredient in this digestif is lemon, you are right. The taste of Limoncello is sweet and its color is beautifully yellow.
Sorrento is well-known by production of Limoncello, mostly because of widely spreaded fields of lemons over area. You can find information about history of this liqueur and a recipe for Limoncello even at the city webpage: here.
How does Limoncello taste like? Like a pure taste of Italy in small glass filled with yellow liquer. 🙂
7. Antipasti, Pasti and wine at Amalfi
Another way how to taste Italy is to go out for a proper Italian dinner. Actually, I consider going out for dinner as a duty while you travel there. For south cultures as Italian or French, eating is not just a purpose of survive. It is something traditional, something what made those countries to become what they are nowadays. Something what connects families and friends after long day at work or school each evening together. Where you can finally sit, enjoy a tasty food, drink some good wine and finish your day in harmony.
I have mentioned on the beginning of this article Italian obsession by `eating rules`. Trust me, there are many of them, and the web is full of articles dealing with this issue. If you suppose to meet up with Italian at diner table I recommend you to wade through some of them. For an example: Dos and Don’ts of Eating in Italy or 10 Rules For Eating in Italy Without Scaring the Italians.
8. Strega in Benevento
Have you heard about Benevento? Many students who consider Erasmus probably do as it is one of many Erasmus towns in Italy. Anyway, Benevento is very famous by producing typical herbal liqueur called Strega. History of producing starts in 1860 and since than, a lot of work has been done to develop factory to its today’s appearance. (Mostly) Foreign students enjoy spicy and sweetish taste of Strega at most of their parties and you should not miss a chance to taste it as well. If you become more interested and would like to know more about history and process of producing, you can visit museum located next to the factory.
Strega is Italian word for “witch” and it is often call a witch in foreign speaking countries.
9. Pizza in Napoli
What would be Italy without pizza! For the original pizza I recommend you to take a trip to Napoli as this is its birthplace, and try real Italian pizza in one of places which are open for decades. As you probably expect, on traditional pizza you will find just few (at most 3) ingredients and probably you will be lucky enough to experience it with live music of some pavement artists 🙂
Napoli is full of tourists who want to taste Italian history so be ready to wait in queue to get into one of the 3 oldest restaurant in area, and most probably, those places can be close. (Yes they have enough customers so they can close whenever they want to.) But don`t despair if you won`t manage to visit one of those 3 restaurant because in Napoli you can find an original pizza everywhere.
Some surprise about ingredients at pizza
I would like to split some oil to the fire about Pineapple on pizza. Italian would judge you as a madman if you ask for well know Hawai with pineapple, but adding french fries at pizza is absolutely correct for them. 😀 I`m just asking.. really?
I haven`t tried it but if you did, please leave me a comment about how did you like it 😉