When it comes to favorite cuisine, there is a standard Mexican, Italian, Thai, and Indian toss-up. But the truth is whatever we are eating here sitting in the states doesn’t even come close to what the actual food tastes like. Having food in the country that it has originated in is an exercise in how different the taste profiles of one dish can be across the world.
Italy is the vortex where history, beauty, and art come together to take your breath away. The beauty of Italy is that some of the best options in Italian cuisine are still available only outside the big cities. Today we will be exploring the cities that you just can’t miss out on when you make your way through this gorgeous country.
Alba is home to the Festa Dei Tartufi, for all of you who have no idea about Italian it translates to The White Truffle Fair. It takes place across every weekend in October and November. This festival also includes a cooking competition, a Truffle Show, wine tasting experiences, and the Truffle Sensory Analysis.
If you’re a chocolate lover, then make your way to the Ferro group, the producers of world-famous Ferrero Rocher Chocolates. Even when the festival isn’t in season, Alba has some great wine, truffles, and peaches for you to indulge in.
For anyone who wants to just get to the heart of Italian cuisine, it does not get better than Bologna. It is after all the place where Bolognese Sauce originated. You will be surprised to taste it here though, it is starkly different and served with tagliatelle. Other specialties include Bologna sausage and a wide variety of wines.
If you want to feel like a local, then make your way down to the Mercato di Mezzo, the city’s oldest market. In the festival arena, you have the Bologna Finger Food Festival, where over four days, you can indulge in street food, live music, and craft beers.
This small town is famous for one thing and that one this handmade pasta. Scialatielli, a short and thick pasta that is similar to linguine, is something you should not miss out on when you are in this town. It would be tough to miss out on since it features so heavily on the local menus. Also not to miss out on – pastries made with local lemons.
When you want life to give you lemons, you make your way to Procida. The lemons here are called limoni pane or “bread lemons” due to their huge piths. Once you are here, get some lemon salad, in which the lemon is garnished with garlic and mint. A simple but satisfying dish.
This town is considered to be the oldest of 5 towns collectively called Cinque Terre. This is the home of the local Sweet Sciacchetra wine, which is served with either cheese or desserts. Wine here is a tradition rather than just a drink. There are roman writings that describe the quality of wine going back to ancient times.
The location of Manarola is bound to leave you spellbound. This coastal town has colorful buildings that house local bars where you can get a glass of wine and watch as the sun reflects off the water.
This scenic Italian town is also known as “La Bella Addormentata” -Sleeping Beauty. It was awarded the position of Europe’s Capital of Gastronomy in 2017. If you don’t want to go to the expensive restaurants that reside in this town, make your way to any local bar or restaurant. All of them excel at food. Local delicacies not to miss out on including Zucci, a tortellini dish stuffed with pumpkin, and a simple fish dish called Bigoli con la Sardella.
No list that features the food of Italy can be complete without a mention of Naples, the birthplace of Pizza. This place made its mark on culinary history with Pizza and has since not slowed down. At this point, this city has more stars from the Michelin Guide than any other city in Italy.
This city is best visited during one of its various festivals. There is the Umbria Jazz festival or if you really like chocolate, go to the Euro Chocolate Festival. Since 1993 this place has hosted the festival, and during the course of the festival, around a million tourists and natives descend to Perugia to witness this chocolate spectacle. It has stalls, art, and even a fashion show.
No matter how much you like your chocolate, you are bound to enjoy this festival. Standard, as well as experimental chocolate, is in abundance at this festival.
Italy is a food lovers paradise, and if properly planned out, you would never want to eat food anywhere else again.