Taste Your Food

Best foods in italy

Gelato

I’ll start this list with my all time favourite (and perhaps yours) – Gelato. As a huge fan of ice cream for my past 20-something years of existence, I was in a world of delight when I first arrived in Italy at 17 years of age and tasted my first gelato. Coming from a small town on an island in Australia, I had never tried gelato until this point, which is probably a good thing in hindsight as no gelato across the world will ever compare with the Italian’s. My favourite gelaterias across Italy are tried and tested (usually at least 10 times) and include:

Florence – La Carraia // Rome – Gelateria I Caruso // Milan Il Massimo del Gelato // Sorrento – Primavera

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Tiramisu

Originating in the region of Veneto, Tiramisu is an Italian classic dessert that has swept the world by storm. You’ll find many variations on the classic dish and in all honesty, sometimes a more contemporary take outdoes the original… but in Italy it is hard to come by a bad house-made Tiramisu!

In Rome check out Flavio al Velavevodetto for a perfectly portioned individual serving.

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Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta, a creamy white dessert topped often with a drizzle of caramel sauce is said to originate from the region of Piedmont in Italy. Panna Cotta is light but holds itself with just enough solidity to not fall apart on the plate, but still fall apart in your mouth. A true Italian delight!

In Rome check out Pompi Cafe & in Venice be sure to try the Panna Cotta at La Bitta.

Margherita Pizza

This year I finally made it to Naples and let me be frank: I came here to try the pizza. Naples, a sprawling city in the Campania region, is the birthplace of pizza. The pizza in Naples comes in a variety of variations – large, small, crispy, doughy, lots of toppings, sparse toppings… you name it. There’s no denying this will be your best experience (in the world, ever), though a few of the faves have opened up stores in New York City, so you can also find a great pie there.

Naples – Da Michelle, Pizzaria Starita, Di Matteo

Bruschetta

Who doesn’t love bruschetta!? This breaded dish can be ordered anywhere in Italy as a starter and you just know you can’t go wrong. The dish has its origins in central Italy but can be found in nearly every restaurant throughout the country, sometimes being offered complimentary to start an evening meal. Bruschetta is made with garlic rubbed bread, topped with a variation of toppings including tomatoes, cheese, onion, cured meats and/or vegetables.

 

Its hard to go wrong with this Italian staple and you’ll find bruschetta available almost everywhere!

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Cheese

Where do you start? There are so many cheeses produced in Italy, some regionally specific, some widespread, all delicious. As a rough guide, keep your hungry eye out for: burrata, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, asiago, gorgonzola, marscapone, pecorino, ricotta, scamorza, and taleggio.

Eat it: Anywhere and everywhere

Focaccia Bread

Foccacia bread is made flat, plain inside, but topped with the likes of olives, olive oil and a variety of herbs. This is an easy dish to try and recreate back home, and luckily you will find the standard of foccacia bread fairly similar across Italy.

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Arancini

Though there wasn't room for risotto on this list, there is space for risotto's best friend: arancini. These Sicilian delights are balls of leftover risotto that are mixed with cheese and sometimes peas, or mince, or other fillings, then crumbed and deep-fried. The Roman adaptation, suppli, is delicious, though for the real thing you have to go to Sicily. Eat it: Pasticceria Savia, Catania

Bolognese

You might immediately notice I didn’t type “Spaghetti Bolognese”, because in Italy, this dish isn’t necessarily served with spaghetti pasta! In fact, bolognese was born in Bologna, where the dish is most certainly not served with spaghetti, which instead hails from the South of Italy. Just order a “Tagliatelle alla Bolognese” and you’ll be fine.

The best Bolognese in Bologna can be found, well, anywhere in restaurants throughout the city!Rome – Rosati // Milan: Biancolatte // Florence: Scudieri // Venice: Torrefazione Cannaregio

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Espresso

As soon as you arrive in Italy you might realise the coffee culture here is very different to anywhere else in the world. First of all, the Italians are very passionate about their coffee. Second of all, it is all about the glorified espresso! Sure, you can still order different coffees (if you prefer your coffee less strong, order a caffè Americano).

Rome – Rosati // Milan: Biancolatte // Florence: Scudieri // Venice: Torrefazione Cannaregio

Ravioli

There is again a little contention when it comes to discerning the origins of ravioli, but the earliest records show ravioli in both Tuscany and Venice… but any further discussion would be speculation, so I shall avoid at all costs!

When in Rome drop by Trattoria Monti for a spectacular ravioli in typical Italian home-style cooking.

Rome – Rosati // Milan: Biancolatte // Florence: Scudieri // Venice: Torrefazione Cannaregio

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