Friday, February 17, 2012

Italian Food — What I Had So Far

We all know what Italian cuisine is. We associate it with pasta and nothing else, but when you visit Italy, you will quickly learn that each region has its own cuisine and it does not ONLY consists of pasta. No two regions are alike, of course you will still find Roman food listed in Florentine restaurant menus, but really when you visit a city, you MUST do it right and eat what the city’s regional food is. 

By the way, Olive Garden’s marketing campaign on how they send their chefs to their cooking school in Tuscany for Italian cooking training? Yeah that’s a load of crap.

Emilia-Romagna Region

Crescentine, Mortadella (Baloney to us), Squacarone Cheese

Tagliatelle Ragu (Best one I tasted so far is from Cucchiao d’Oro Bolognese Restaurant)

Lasagna Bolognese (My roommate cooked this for me)

Lazio Region:

Spaghetti Alla Amatriciana (First tasted this in Rome and I immediately fell in love with it. Unfortunately, I forgot the name of the restaurant where I tried it.)

Tuscany Region:

Lampredotto (from wikipedia: typical Florentine peasant dish, made from the fourth and final stomach of a cow, the abomasum.)

Fiorentina Steak (traditionally cooked rare)

Veneto Region:

Nero di Seppia (Pasta in squid ink)

Other important food you can’t miss:

Capucio (Cappuccino to us) - Italy is famous for coffee and lounging while drinking their coffee, where else did you think Howard Schultz got the idea of the Starbucks business model? 

Gelato - you’re in Italy, you have to eat the real ice cream.

I have yet to try the Pizza Napolitana and  Spaghetti alla Bottarga from Sardegna that Bourdain raved about in his Sardegna episode. Actually, I have already tried the bottarga spaghetti, but I had it in Verona (Veneto Region), so I want to try the real deal.

Notes

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