When traveling the world, trying the country’s authentic food is paramount in learning about the culture. It lets you dive into the very depths of how people live in that country, their history, what they find important, and so much more. Food can tell you much more about a culture than just what flavor profiles they prefer. Italy is a country full of cuisine that brings people together and creates delicious get-togethers. If you’re planning a trip to Italy in the near future, you should try some of these popular Italian dishes.
Styles of Popular Italian Dishes
Italian dishes are full of flavor. Anyone who has ever eaten any authentic Italian dish knows that. There’s a reason restaurants all over the United States want to emulate their food and sell it far and wide. Think pizza, pasta, cheesy meat dishes, expensive sausages and cheeses, olives…all the good things people want at a party.
The foods of Italy include plenty of flour, cheese, flavorful sauces, and more carbs! The Italians have a heavy tradition of using fresh ingredients and whatever produce is in season. Fish, pasta, pizza, meat, and all produce are regulars on Italians menus and are usually from local farms. Sometimes when traveling to Italy, you may even have the experience of being able to make your own food and learn the traditions and recipes in the process.
5 Popular Italian Dishes to Try in Italy
Depending on where you’re visiting in Italy, you will have the experience of different Italian cuisines. While we have a variety of favorite places to go in Italy, we will broaden this guide to help you no matter what part of the country you are visiting.
In Venice, you will find many places of cicchetti (snacks to go with a small glass of wine). You will traditionally find cicchetti at small bars where they use wine barrels as tables. Cicchetti is Italy’s version of tapas, and it is typically made up of crostini with seafood or meat topping, meatballs (Polpette), hard-boiled eggs, or even small sandwiches.
Also in Venice is the more well-known dish of tiramisú. You may have tried it in the states, but if you haven’t tasted it in Italy, you haven’t really tasted it. Ladyfingers are soaked in espresso with a whipped topping added that’s made from mascarpone cheese, eggs, and sugar. Every recipe is a little different depending on the family, so we recommend trying a lot of it!
We know, you can get steak just about anywhere in the states, but going to Tuscany and getting their authentic Bistecca alla Fiorentina, you may feel like you’re just getting a regular T-bone or porterhouse, but what you’re really getting is authentic Italian steak from a local farm. The steak here comes from a specific breed of cattle, Chianina, and it’s grilled over hot coals with only salt and pepper. Like most things in Italy, the steaks are meant to be served with robust wines.
4. Pizza (obviously)
Of course we weren’t going to create an Italian cuisine guide without adding pizza to the list. Pizza in Rome or Naples will make you hyper aware of the very large differences between American pizza and Italian pizza. Naples is most well-known for their pizza, but Roman pizzas include pizza by the slice that is softer and have a bread-like base and Roman round pizzas with olive oil in the dough. This means the crunch is thin and crunchy and full of delicious fresh toppings. A pizza cooking class is a fun way to get involved in eating pizza in Rome and learning the recipes—plus it’s really fun.
Sicily has some of the best seafood in the entire world. It’s right on the sea, which means everything is fresh, and a strong North African influence brings a new twist to their seafood. Some common examples of the mixtures of these traditions are couscous al pesce and pasta con le sarde (sardine pasta). These seafood dishes pair great with—you guessed it!—wine, but it also goes well with pizza and tiramasú. Sicily has a lot of great food and wine tasting tours to choose from, and we know some of the best ones to recommend!
Now, we aren’t forgetting the pasta, but that’s a given. Everywhere you go in Italy has some of the best pasta you will ever eat, and it’s all a little different depending on where you are eating it and what particular twist that family has added to it. Try it paired with other dishes, and try a large variety!
Pearl Travel: Sending You to the Right Places for Popular Italian Dishes
At Pearl Travel, we have a few specialities: cruises, family vacations, and traveling abroad. Because of this, we really know our stuff. We know the best hotels to stay, the safest places to visit, and of course, the best places to visit when you want to try authentic cuisine. Working with a travel agent can help make sure you have all your bases covered for your cruise packing list, and it can save you a lot of money and time in the process.
Pearl Travel is pleased to offer unparalleled personal service via our dedicated team of travel advisors! We are able to share an amazing wealth of collective experience and expertise. The use of a personal travel advisor will be sure to enhance your travel experience – we specialize in all forms of travel from all inclusive resorts that are laid out for ease to custom travel that allows for the most unique of adventures. Contact Pearl Travel today or learn more.