Italian Foods Worth Traveling For
The sun-kissed Italian cuisine, Dolce Vita, is fresh, delicious, and delightfully easy. Avoid restaurants that offer “creative, innovative” cuisine and stick with the traditional, time-honoured dishes for the best food.
It is one of the best things about travelling to Italy. It gives you a unique insight into each region’s culture. They use seasonal and unpretentious ingredients, but they still taste as good as anything you would get at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
It’s like trying to decide which Italian food is the best.
Being an avid foodie, I could not resist the temptation to compile a list of the top 10 Italian dishes. This is an entirely subjective list, so please feel free to disagree with me in the comments.
Pizza Napoletana (Naples)
While there are many great traditional Italian dishes, Pizza Napoletana is the best. The perfect pizza is a combination of simplicity and history.
Neapolitan Pizza was invented in Naples between the 18th and 19th centuries. It is a flatbread that has been topped with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. It is not as easy as it sounds. Napoletana takes more than 3 or 4 ingredients to make a true Pizza.
The tomatoes must be grown on the volcanic soil of San Marzano Sul Sarno (a small town close to Naples). The dough must also be made using specific ingredients, formed by hands, and crowned with D.O.C. Mozzarella di Bufala Campana. This type of pizza must also be baked in a wood-fired oven using two types of wood for 60-90 seconds. This is not something you can order from your front door at 4 AM or during a Netflix session.
There are three versions of Pizza Napoletana. Margherita is the most well-known. Legend has it that Raffaele Esposito, a Neapolitan pizzamaker, created this traditional dish in the colours and symbols of the Italian flag in 1889 while Margherita of Savoy (Queen consort to the Kingdom of Italy).
Today, Neapolitan Pizza is protected by Associazione Verace Pizzeria Napoletana. This is a good reason to visit Italy’s third-largest city.
Lasagna, also known as lasagna in Italian, is a portion of Italian comfort food that uses alternating layers of pasta, meat, sauce and cheese.
There are many ways Garfield can make his favourite food. The most popular is the Lasagne alla Bolognese. It’s made with Ragu (meat-based Bolognese sauce), Bechamel Sauce, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. On the other hand, Lasagne Napoletana contains meatballs, sausages, ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese. It is often served in Naples during Carnivale.
It is not clear whether the legendary Italian dish lasagna was created in the Middle Ages of Naples or if it is a product of Ancient Greece.
Ossobuco alla Milanese (Milan)
Ossobuco is a hearty and flavorful Milanese speciality. It consists of slow-cooked veal shanks in white wine, broth, and vegetables. This traditional recipe was probably created in the late 19th-century in one of the city’s osterie. It doesn’t contain tomatoes and is finished with grommets, a fresh seasoning made from lemon zest, garlic, and parsley.
While cotoletta (veal cutlet with butter-fried in butter) is not as well-known, Ossobuco Alla Milanese remains one of the most popular meat-based dishes in the city.
Milan’s ossobuco is a memorable dining experience. It includes the classic, saffron-laced Risotto Alla Milanese.
Gelato (all over Italy)
Although the Italians didn’t make the invention of ice cream, they have perfected it over the centuries. Italian gelato is a creamy frozen dessert that dates back to the Renaissance.
Many stories about this topic tell that gelato was invented in Florence at the Court of the Medici by Bernardo Buontalenti, Florentine architect and designer, or Cosimo Ruggieri, the court’s alchemist.
There is currently 37,000 gelateria in Italy. However, Rome (I Caruso), Florence, and Bologna (La Sorbetteria Castiglione) are some of the most popular.
Gelato is handmade daily by skilled artisans. It contains less fat and air and has a more natural flavour than regular ice cream. Visit the Gelato Museum Carpigiani, Anzola dell Emilia near Bologna, to learn more about this delicious treat’s history, culture, technology, and heritage.
It is a staple in Tuscan cuisine or Italy’s “cucina potera”. Panzanella, a slice of delicious, healthy bread and tomato salad, is usually enjoyed in central Italy during the summer heat. It is a classic peasant dish that originated in Tuscany’s green fields, where farmers relied on local produce to feed their families while they worked.