The Palate Pleaser: Your Guide To Eating Well In Italy

The Palate Pleaser: Your Guide To Eating Well In Italy
An Italian Platter is something your taste buds will look forward to , Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Food is a great leveller. When appreciatively wolfing down a pizza slice at a sidewalk café in Italy with a friend, or at a street-side stall with a stranger, old bonds are cemented and new ones are forged

OT Staff
July 23 , 2019
04 Min Read

Italy’s bold, flavourful cuisine is burp-inducing and as exuberant as its people. Yet, it’s a simple hearty cuisine that relies on fresh seasonal ingredients but is nuanced enough to vary from region to region. Fine cheeses, cured meats, herbs, risottos and pastas are worked into dishes by chefs using traditional recipes handed down over the generations. You can’t try everything in Italy but here’s a peek at what is most palate-pleasing.

Rome
The alla carbonara in Rome will melt your heart

In Rome, where everything is larger-than-life, the down-to-earth spaghetti alla carbonara is considered the star. Concocted simply with fresh eggs, pecorino Romano (sheep’s milk) cheese, guanciale (cured pork cheek), black pepper, white wine, and high-quality spaghetti, this dish calls Rome its home.

Lake Como
 Risotto served with sea food

The Lake Como region’s staple is freshwater fish – the perch. The fillets of perch when paired with a buttery risotto, and cooked with a dash of white wine, results in a dish that strums the taste buds.

Bologna
The Lasagne alla Bolognese in Bologna

The culinary diva in Bologna is lasagne alla Bolognese, comprising alternating layers of pasta sheets, a slow-cooked ragu or a meat-based Bolognese sauce, Bechamel sauce, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Milan
The Ossobuca alla Milanese

Ossobuco alla Milanese is a robust dish consisting of veal shanks simmered in white wine, meat broth and vegetables. It is then seasoned with lemon zest, garlic and parsley and best consumed with a saffron-scented risotto.

Florence
The Ribollita being prepared in Florence, Italy

Ribollita is a heart-warming vegetable soup thickened with bread rather than meat and is slurped in autumn when farm-fresh vegetables explode with flavour.

Naples
The traditional pizza in the making

The best Margherita pizza, slathered with stringy mozzarella, emerges from the wood-fired ovens of Pizzeria Brandi in Naples where it was first concocted in 1889 for Queen Margherita of Savoy. She loved it and would always order it when she was in Naples. Today, Margherita pizza and its wannabe versions flourish across the globe.

All over Italy
Gelato, available all over Italy, is famous among tourists

Gelato, the rich creamy ice cream, frozen and airy, goes back to the Renaissance era in Italy but it was not invented by the Italians. They merely raised the process of making it to the level of art. It is whispered that it was invented in Florence by an alchemist! Genuine gelato is made fresh every day and there is even a Gelato Museum near Bologna.

Sicily
A chocolate dipped Cannoli

The island of Sicily, which is better known as the birthplace of the Mafia displays distinctive flair when it comes to seafood dishes. Pasta with sardines can set the taste buds a-tingle but equally popular is a Sicilian dessert called cannoli–tubes of deep-fried pastry that ooze with a creamy filling of sweetened fresh ricotta made from sheep’s milk. The pastry is finished with a confetti of crushed nuts. A cannoli goes well with a shot of espresso.

Also Read : Pasta Perfect in Italy; A Gourmet Guide to ItalyTicket to Italy

DID YOU KNOW

>According to Rough Guides, 14 billion espressos are consumed in Italy each year.

>In 2007, a dog named Rocco unearthed a truffle in Tuscany that weighed a mean 3.3 pounds. It was subsequently auctioned for US$333,000, setting a world record.

>In Sardinia you may want to try the intriguing casu marzu, recommended as a powerful aphrodisiac. Decline. It’s a cheese filled with live maggots!


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