There are a lot of things that make Italy worth a visit, and one such has to be their cuisine. Italians are known to be great chefs, both for their trademark dishes that taste like nowhere else in the world and their innovations, which are rarely found outside its borders. Those planning a trip to the boot-like peninsula are going to have quite a lot of sights to see and old-fashioned streets and canals to walk through. So, in order to encourage you towards this task, get a whiff of the best dishes you are going to, and must, have afterwards.
You may not be able to make use of that bonus code for Bet365 in Canada, but there is hardly a safer bet than eating pizza in Italy. What started out as a humble meal for the poor has now become a worldwide phenomenon and constant object of innovations. Italians are pretty strict when it comes to their topping, but it is mainly due to their ketchup-provoked irritation.
Tip: Make sure you get to try both the Neapolitan and Roman-styled pizza – one has a fluffier crust, while the latter has one as thin as a leaf.
According to a recipe evidently from Florence, this dish has become a classic in elite restaurants all over the globe, as chefs try to get just the right mixture of tastes. It is practically a T-bone steak – a rather thick and large cutout from the loin of the specific breed of Chianina cows that are bred in Tuscany. Tip: Eat the steak the Italian way – sharing it with an eating partner. Pieces tend to be rather big, but you can still influence pricing by choosing the exact weight, about 1-2 kilos for two people.
Ribollita is another piece of evidence that everyone in Italy have a thing for cooking. The wealthier tended to include meat in their dishes and are recognized for dishes such as the stake mentioned above, while the poorer social strata fed off of leftovers and cheaper ingredients. While the ribollita may not seem refined, there is hardly a soup/stew that tastes so fully in your mouth as this one. With cannellini beans as a basis, tomatos, garlic and pieces of bread, it’s a match made in heaven. Tip: If asked, choose to have the ribollita soup served in a deep dish on top of the pieces of bread.
Pesto alla Genovese
This is not so much as the name of the dish as it is its main ingredient. Namely, pesto is a sort of paste, a blend of crushed basil, garlic, sea salt, pine nuts, Parmesan and olive oil. It is mostly used as a topping for a kind of pasta, but the whole dish has been named after this Genoese specialty which is best when tasted in its place of birth. Tip: Eat just enough of it to be able to enjoy the other benefits of your visit to Genoa, such as the unique lace creations.
No matter where in Italy you are planning to go, there is bound to be a recipe variation for arancini that is typical of that local region. These arancini are simply rice balls that are covered in crispy breadcrumbs and deep-fried to a golden brown state. What differs among the regional balls of arancini is their stuffing, but most are bound to have ragù, mozzarella, tomato sauce and peas. Tip: Don’t be afraid to take in all the tastes – arancini are meant to melt on your tongue, so you might as well enjoy it thoroughly and not be embarrassed.
You would think that having pizza and pasta would make Italians unwilling to cook any other form of carbs, but rice is a widely available product nonetheless. Cooking rice is done in their own unique way, much like every other dish on their tables, in the form of a risotto. Anyone can find their suitable form of risotto, as Italians love to add new things to its creamy essence, from basil, garlic and other flavors, to meat, fungi and the inevitable Parmesan.
Tip: A famous type of risotto, in Italy and worldwide, is the risotto alla Milanese, supposedly invented by the builders of the Milan cathedral. They figured that the saffron they used to dye the glass windows of the church smelled so good that it could be eaten, so they added it to their risotto. Knowing bits of history can get you a long way in the country where people appreciate the old along with the modern.
Coffee & Gelato
These aren’t dishes by definition, but there is no excuse to going in Italy and not tasting their ice cream. Washed down with the best espresso in the world, there is no better ending to a long day of sight-seeing and dish-tasting.