How to Eat like a Local when You're in Italy ...


How to Eat like a Local when You're in Italy ...
How to Eat like a Local when You're in Italy ...

We all think we know the cuisine of Italy. No matter where you go in the world, the major cities and towns will have Italian restaurants. Italian food is whipped up in our own kitchens either from simple ready to use ingredients bought from the grocery store or from delicious produce brought from a local delicatessen. Even if you have a pasta sauce recipe passed down the generations from Nonna to Mama, nothing beats the authenticity and taste of real Italian produce sampled in the place where it is grown or made, or in the town where the world famous dish originated.

You may be dreaming of tours to Europe that take you to Italy with anticipation of fresh fragrant lemons from Sicily, plump green olives from Liguria, white bean stew from Tuscany or spaghetti bolognese from the gorgeous renaissance university city of Bologna. There are some signature regional dishes that have crossed the borders and found home in recipe books, restaurants and home kitchens all around the world. Here is how to eat like a local in Italy.

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A Taste of Naples

dish, cuisine, food, appetizer, recipe, The modern pizza is a very different animal to the original. What today comes in deep pan, square and whole wheat versions with stuffed crusts and weird ingredients like pineapple, cannot be compared to the experience of a freshly baked Pizza Margherita straight out of the brick oven in a tiny, packed pizzeria in the back streets of Naples. Although unproven that it was first made here, Naples is the spiritual home of the pizza. It is thought to have begun life as simple peasant food - a slab of inexpensive dough stretched out and spread with juicy ripe tomatoes and baked until the edges puff up and go crispy, leaving a deliciously soft springy centre.


Unmistakably Parma

prosciutto, jamón serrano, bayonne ham, meat, bresaola, The northern city of Parma is not only an interesting tourist destination, but has the honour of two famous eponymous food products, indelibly associated with Italian cuisine – Parma ham and Parmesan cheese. Find a charming little trattoria with tables and chairs on a cobbled pavement in one of the elegant city squares and savour the salty wafer thin ham with other anti-pasti as precursor to a dish of perfectly made ravioli filled with four cheeses, covered in a burnt butter and sage sauce, with the perfect finishing touch of some shaved Parmigiana Reggiano. Order a crisp Italian white, chilled to perfection and you have a truly authentic taste of Italy.


Sweet Sicily

appetizer, dish, cuisine, food, finger food, If the saltiness of Parma ham and cheese doesn’t tickle your taste buds, and you crave something sweeter, there really is only one food destination to put at the top of your list if you truly want to eat like a local in Italy. Head to Sicily and wrap your lips around a sweet, creamy, cannoli. Forget the store bought stuff back home because in the streets of Syracuse or on the beachfront at Taormina, there is true delight in an irresistible cone shaped pastry, filled with a ricotta cheese sweetened by sugar and vanilla and the signature ingredient of a Sicilian cannoli, Succade - the chopped candied peel of local citrus fruit. And, if that’s not enough, you can have it drizzled with a luscious chocolate ganache.

Whether it is licking a creamy gelato in Venice’s St. Mark’s Square, tucking into saltimbocca in a fancy restaurant by Rome’s Trevi Fountain, or savouring a hearty rabbit stew with polenta in Milan, Italian food in Italy, stirs the passions of the soul and marks the start of an interminable love affair with land of Vespas, Gucci and tomato sauce.

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There is so much more to Italy than this! Did the person authoring this ever travel there? Just make 2 stops or just google some things?

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