Have you ever heard of the term “bucket list”? A bucket list is a checklist of activities, travels, goals, and adventures a person wishes to do before their time on earth is up. When it comes to eating, for every 10 people at least 11 of them most probably have a food tour of Italy as a top priority and it’s no wonder why.
From never-ending options of pasta to pizza, some of the best cheeses, wines, and desserts in the world, they all come from the boot shaped foodie’s paradise in Europe. So if eating your way through Italy, or at least diving into the amazing world that is Italian cooking is a priority for you, here’s a guide of some “not to miss” tips to doing Italian food right. First pro tip though, if you’re not fluid in Italian but want to come off as a culinary expert when enjoying said local cuisine, having a top translation service at your hand will most certainly give you a head up in the ordeal.
Initial Understandings and Do’s and Don’ts of Italian Food
Food and enjoying food is a pivotal part of the cultural exposure that any country offers its visitors. Of course, with such a great reward like truly enjoying the wonders of Italian food, there are some basic do’s and dont’s. The key to truly enjoying Italian food is simple, be it that you’re in Italy or trying out some of the best Italian joints around where you live, you want to live the absolute best foodie experience without feeling like you got cheated out of more delicious options.
Italian gastronomy, just like any other form of Italian art is more of an experience than a simple sit down moment. Just like an opera, enjoying a top grade Italian meal is an affair composed of various acts. First come the “Antipasti” or appetizers, usually small plates of food made to share around the table composed of cured meats, cheeses, and grilled vegetables. When in Italy Antipasti will usually be more vegetable heavy down south while north it will be more meat and cheese oriented. Simple do here, enjoy picking little bites here and there, don’ts? Fill yourself up from the get go because more food will be coming.
After the appetizers, it’s time for pasta! The “Primi” course is usually when dishes like pastas, gnocchis, which is a potato based pasta, and risotto is usually had. Do? Live your best pasta fantasy, don’t? Again, fill yourself up, because as is the rule, more food is on the way. While most people would be done and happy with a good pasta course, for Italians, the meal is just getting started, up to the table, the “Secondi”.
Meat or fish is usually served as the main dish in an Italian table, but just that, the meat, for side dishes they have the “Contorni”. Salads, grilled or fried vegetables like potatoes are usually a top notch option. Do? Go big, live your best food fantasy. Don’t? Expect many vegetarian options.
Benvenuti to the World of Pizza
Pizza is probably the most recognizable food staple that Italy has given the world. Everyone has a favorite type of pizza, be it thin crust, thick crust, tomato based or white sauce, the debates can be endless here. Funny enough, while pizza, or the idea of a cooked flat bread with toppings has existed for as long as food has been made in Italy, tomatoes made their first appearance in Italian cooking and pizza until after they were brought into Europe by Christopher Columbus after his initial trips to the Americas.
Naples is considered by most pizza connoisseurs as the epicenter of excellence when it comes to the round and triangular food. It was there in Naples where the “Pizza Margherita”, in honor of Queen Margherita di Savoia was invented and where the first pizza restaurant which is still open to this day, “Antica Pizzeria Port’ Alba” was opened in 1830. Pizza is now a universal staple of food, and we have Naples, Italy to thank for that.
Leave it to Italy To Finish a Meal With Amazing Desserts
So we’ve made it to dessert and we all know Italians are known for their incredible sweet treats. From the world known Tiramisu, a coffee, and cream based dessert to cannoli, the fried cones filled with creamy deliciousness made famous by “The Godfather” and gelato, the Italian alternative to ice cream Italy is known for their offerings when it comes to sweets. Pair any of those sweets with a smooth cappuccino or an espresso and all that’s left to say is Buon appetito!