5 things you have to try in Italy!
It’s nearly impossible to think of Italy without dreaming about decadent plates of pasta, baked-to-perfection-pizzas, and an abundance of gelato. But what if I told you there’s more than pizza and pasta to this diverse and delicious country? Read on to discover some of Italy’s best-kept culinary secrets…
Similar to arancini, these fried balls of rice represent one of Italy’s street food staples and come stuffed with fresh mozzarella cheese and occasionally tomato sauce. Often served as an antipasto in pizzerias, they usually appear at outdoor street vendors dotted throughout the streets of Rome.
Literally translated into Bone Hole, this meaty dish originates in Milan and aptly named for the exposed bone and marrow in the veal itself. Braised with red wine and vegetables until tender, the meat is topped with gremolata (a blend of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest) and usually served with polenta or risotto.
Carciofi alla Giudia
These Jewish-style fried artichokes keep one of the best-kept secrets of Roman cuisine, with a deep history originating from 16th century Rome. The Jewish people in Rome faced segregation to a local ghetto, where they received poor-quality produce. Frying their vegetables became the only sure way of eliminating the bacteria, and thus fried artichokes were born. These crispy treats stand for historical significance and remain very prevalent on menus today throughout Rome.
Bologna, Italy hosts some of the world’s best truffles. So enamored with this fragrant Fungi, Italians named an entire festival, Tartufesta, in its honor. Truffle hunting season runs October through December, and ideal for dedicated foodies who like to work for their supper.
With humble origins from coastal Puglia, this stuffed mussel dish turns a small dish of mussles into a hearty meal on a budget. The process begins with steaming mussels in a simple broth. Once the mussels steam, they get stuffed with a breadcrumb and cheese mixture and then tied with kitchen string. The mussels cook in a mixture of tomato sauce and the original broth. Feast on these mussels with a hearty side of bread and a large finger dipping bowl nearby – they’re messy, but oh-so-worth-it.
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