Today I have the pleasure of hosting a fellow expat here on Frutto della Passione. You may already be familiar with My Bella Vita written by Cherrye Moore. If you aren’t, may I suggest you head over and take a look at what Cherrye has to say. She writes about her life in Calabria, her travels, Italian food, language and culture and living the expat life here in Italy. In this post, Cherrye shares what she considers to be the Five Must-Taste foods that anyone that visits the Bel Paese should try. What do you think?
Five Italian Foods-or Drinks-Everyone Should Taste
“The food is so good.”
“I gained 10 pounds.”
“You can’t have a bad meal in Italy.”
While I strongly disagree with that last one, these are all common statements passionately exclaimed by travelers who have recently visited the bel paese.
And at least one of them rings true for yours truly.
No, I have not gained 10 pounds … take that back!
I agree with those who think authentic Italian food is among the best in the world. It is simple. It is fresh. It is exquisite.
But there are five Italian food items that I think take the cake. In no particular order-because I can’t choose a favorite-here are the five Italian food items I think everyone should taste at least once in their lifetime.
- Prosciutto Crudo
For years I was a vegetarian, and although I now eat meat, I was turned off by the “crudo” in prosciutto crudo. Cooked ham? I was good.
Smoked ham? Ok.
Raw ham? Uh, no thanks.
Then one day I was tricked into trying this popular Italian antipasto ingredient and well, I was hooked. I love it wrapped around cold cantaloupe, matched with a thick wedge of Parmesan cheese or alone … with a rich glass of wine.
These stuffed rice balls mystify travelers who haven’t tried them and I enjoy nothing better than introducing them to guests who visit our B&B. Traditional Sicilian arancini are stuffed with meat sauce and green peas, but other varieties include ham and cheese, cheese only or spicy nduja.
Ok, really this is my favorite, I just didn’t want to include it at the top and risk a brutta figura. But come on, 100% pure lemon-infused alcohol. Does this even need an explanation?
And since we are on the subject of digestive liquors …
Although it is not my digestive liquor of choice (see above!), Amaro, meaning bitter in Italian, is an after dinner digestive liquor that is made from herbs. There are dozens of types of Amaro produced in various regions. If you are in Calabria, try Amaro del Capo.
- Pistachio Gelato
Although this isn’t specific to Italy, I had never tasted homemade pistachio gelato-or ice cream, for that matter-until I began visiting Italy. I’ve seen more than one person turn their noses up at the idea, only to request double scoops of this delicacy on their next visit.
What are your favorite food items in Italy? Do tell!
Cherrye Moore is a freelance writer and B&B owner living in Calabria, Italy. She writes about expat life for Affordable Calling Cards where they sell calling cards to Italy and about living and traveling in Calabria at My Bella Vita.