Culinary Guide to Italy. Part II – Central and Southern Italy
BlogoItaliano continues a series of articles about Italian cuisine, and this time in the focus of our attention its regional features. In the first part of the Culinary Guide, we talked about the taste traditions of Northern Italy. Now, continuing what we started, we’ll talk about the culinary traditions of Central and “Lower” Italy, and the cuisine in these regions, as you know, is rich in old recipes, rich in Mediterranean dishes and diverse.
Traditional dishes of Central Italy
What to try in Florence
The cuisine of Tuscany is delicious bread and meat delicacies, unsurpassed wine and olive oil, which are prepared according to ancient traditions. In the Top dishes of Florence, you can safely include the grilled steak Bistecca alla fiorentina, thick vegetable soup Ribollita fiorentina and fish soup with wine and tomatoes Caciucco alla livornese, ravioli Agnolotti alla toscana, as well as traditional desserts Torta di noccioio (nut cake and anne Castne with Chestnut cake with pine nuts). As a souvenir from Tuscany, grab a variety of types of sausages and of course the famous Tuscan wine (the most popular variety is Chianti).
What to try in Rome
Lazio and Rome will meet you with a variety of pasta types, including Carbonara in the first place, Gnocchi alla romana potato dumplings, as well as meat masterpieces: Saltimbocca alla romana veal schnitzel, Abbacchio alla cacciatore stewed lamb and Coda alla vaccinara. Food lovers will appreciate the stewed Ciumacata grape snails.
Umbria is famous for its many truffle dishes.
What to try in Umbria (Perugia)
When traveling around Umbria, you will enjoy numerous truffle dishes (tartufo) (e.g. Bruschetta and al tartufo pasta), Ciriole pasta and Impastoiata polenta stuffed with Regina in porchetta carp.
Traditional Southern Italy
Puglia ranks first in Italy for the production of olives and olive oil and impresses with its wealth of wines. It is famous for pasta pasta pastes (for example, “ears” with Orechiette con le cime di rappa turnip sauce), closed Calzone pies and “gendarme cap” – Cappello del Gendarme (stuffed with various types of meat and cheese), baked Alici “Arracanate anchovies ”, As well as an unusual dish of beans and chicory Ncapriata.
Campagna is the birthplace of pizza, the most delicious mozzarella di bufala and limoncello liqueur; dozens of pasta types have been created here with an incredible number of different sauces. Indulge in the pleasure of trying the pie with potatoes, ham and mozzarella Gattò di patate and Sartù – rice casserole stuffed with meatballs, mozzarella, mushrooms and green peas, which only a few restaurants can cook in the traditional way; Minestra napoletana and Suffritte soups. Among the famous Neapolitan meat dishes are Genoese meat (Carne alla genovese), Involtini di maiale pork rolls, and Coniglio all’ischitana, a stewed rabbit in style. The symbol of Naples is Pastiera cake, which is prepared only between the Epiphany and Easter.
Pastier’s cake is prepared in Naples only between the Epiphany and Easter
Calabria is rich in rich flavors of traditional rural cuisine and seafood. Of the meat delicacies in Calabria, the most popular – salami la ‘nduja – very sharp, it enhances blood circulation and is considered an aphrodosiac, and salami la soppressata, and from cheese – il caciocavallo silano. If you get to Catanzaro, try: fried sardines on Sarde a Scapece bread, traditional closed Pitta cake with anchovies and hot pepper (pitta chicculiata) or boiled egg, cottage cheese and meat (pitta maniata), traditional Sagne chine pasta, typical Morsel – offal tripe cooked in red wine and served on soft bread. Of the sweets, the traditional monastery cookies with honey and anise Mostaccioli di Soriano and a layer cake with raisins and nuts Pittanchiusa or Pitta ‘mpigliata are popular.
What to try in Sicily
The cuisine of Sicily owes its uniqueness to Arabic, Greek and Spanish influences. Pastries are adored here and spices and spices are abundantly added to dishes. Traditional Sicilian dishes: Arancini – rice balls with cheese and meat filling, Mpanata – pie with vegetables and meat or fish, pasta with sardine sauce and Pasta alla Norma with fried eggplant and an orange salad, which is traditionally a cook’s fantasy flight .
Arancini – rice balls with cheese and meat filling
Cassata – a traditional Sicilian dessert of Arab origin – a sponge cake with curd filling. Treat your friends at home with green Sicilian pistachios – they are called the green gold of Sicily. Wine connoisseurs can be pleased with a bottle of rich Sicilian dessert wine.
What to try in Sardinia
In restaurants in Sardinia you will be served with: traditional bread – thin carasau cake (the so-called “carta da musica” – “music sheet”), traditional fresh sheep’s cheese pecorino, traditional fish soup Cassola, Impanadas – a kind of pizza stuffed with vegetables and minced meat, Cavolata – a rustic dish of zucchini, lard and meat, traditional pasta Maccarones, pickled cat shark Burrida, and for dessert traditional Aranzada – nougat from chopped orange peel, almond and honey. And the best gift from Sardinia is the famous myrtle tincture.
And finally, a few tips for travelers discovering the grape-olive paradise of Italy.
Ask a local resident (for example, an employee at your hotel) to recommend you a favorite place for dinner by Italians, where you can get acquainted with traditional cuisine.
You will try the most ancient recipes of Italian cuisine not in the capital, but in the provincial family restaurants.
In Sicily, they love pastries and spice abundantly in dishes.
If possible, join an excursion to one of the local wineries or farms with a tasting of wine, olive oil and local meat and cheese products. Buying wine here is a little expensive, but you definitely won’t find it in the supermarket.
If you travel alone, order different dishes from the menu so that you can maximize your gastronomic experience.
Ask in advance what kind of wine the region is famous for, to try a glass for an aperitif or dinner and bring a valuable souvenir to your homeland.
If you came to Italy before Christmas, please yourself with Christmas sweets: Milanese pannettone, Umbrian panpepato, torrone Mandorlato di Cologna Veneta (Christmas nougat) and the world famous Pandoro Christmas cake in Verona, or Apulian Cartellate, as well as traditional Christmas sweets from other regions .