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Pizza, Gelato, Lasange, and Spaghetti are some of the popularly known Italian dishes served worldwide, but there are many dishes you need to explore as Italian cuisine offers a great variety of dishes. In addition, several local Italian restaurants offer an endless variety of culinary delicacies, making it a complete gastronomical treat. So instead, you should look to taste and explore authentic and delicious Italian food dishes during your trip to Italy.

Shortlisting some of the dishes in this article is probably impossible because so many delightful flavors are available from various regions of Italy. However, we have listed some of the must-try dishes below, which should feature in your Italian food list during your Italy holiday.

Popular Italian dishes to savor in Italy:

1.Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

You may have had this dish across the globe, but the popular Pizza Margherita served in Italy has an altogether different taste. Invented in the city of Naples in honor of the Queen Margherita of Savoy. The main ingredients used in this dish are basil, tomato, and mozzarella. The simplicity of the dish is what catches the attention of people and makes it so tasty. The best place to try it out is from one of the local pizzeria, where it is served with a crispy, thin-crust pizza base kissed with garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese apart from the three basic ingredients.

2.Pasta

Pasta

Just like the pizza, the pasta is one of the staple dishes of Italy which you should try out during your vacation in Italy. The best place to try it out is on the streets of Rome where it is served with ingredients such as pecorino cheese, guanciale (this is an Italian cured meat which is prepared from pork cheeks), eggs, and black pepper. Next, the beautiful Bologna serves pasta al ragu which is a must-try recommended dish. This is a pasta dish which is prepared in a meat-based sauce. Try out pasta al pesto in Genoa, which is a mouth-watering dish prepared with ingredients like basil, olive oil, Parmigiana Reggiano cheese, crushed garlic, nuts, and pine.

3.Ribollita

Ribollita

This was considered as a poor man’s dish and was invented by servants who used the leftovers from their master’s plate and boil the remains in water to prepare their own dinner. Ribollita in English means “Reboiled”. The bread is used to thicken the soup and the taste is rich and hearty as a chili. In spite of its humble backgrounds, today Ribollita is considered to be one of the most precious dishes in Tuscany. Other popular places to try this dish are the local Italian restaurants located in the heart of Florence.

4.Saltimbocca

Saltimbocca

The main components of this dish are slices of veal served with a layer of salty prosciutto and herb leaves on top. The ingredients are combined together in a toothpick and sautéed in a pan till the meat is cooked. The meat used for preparing saltimbocca are chicken and mutton which literally melts in your mouth. Do not miss this savory delight as it is one of the most popular dishes which tourists and visitors try out. In Rome, you can get cooking tips to prepare this wonderful dish.

5.Lasagne

Lasagne

This is a very popular Italian dish like the pizza, spaghetti, pasta, and gelato served in many restaurants all around the world. Invented in the city of Naples, this classic Italian dish is prepared by baking sheets of lasagna pasta layered with ground meat, cheese, vegetables, and several varieties of sauces like béchamel, tomato sauce or ragu. This is one of the authentic Italian dishes and a must-try-out dish during your Italy trip.

6.Tortellini en Brodo

Tortellini en Brodo

This is one of the staple dishes for families residing in the northern region of Italy. The dish is served today in a simple homemade chicken broth topped with lightly grated Parmesan, unlike the traditional tortellini which was served in heavy cream sauce. There is no better way to eat and savor the tortellini. One of the dishes which you shouldn’t miss out during your trip to Italy.

7.Osso buco alla Milanese

Osso buco alla Milanese

This is one non-vegetarian delight dish. The veal shanks are slowly braised in white wine and vegetables and served with garlicky and tangy gremolata, a condiment made with lemon zest, parsley, and garlic. The tastiest and the best part of the dish is the rich and buttery marrow on the inner side of the veal bones. If you are a meat lover, then this is one of the best dishes which you shouldn’t miss out at any cost.

8.Arancini

Arancini

Golden brown and crisp in nature, this dish is made of stuffed rice balls that are fried after dipped in a layer of crunchy breadcrumbs. The rice balls are stuffed with tomato sauce, mozzarella, peas, and ragu. The arancini are served with several regional variations of different stuffing and shapes depending on the location and where the dish is prepared. Some of the popular ones to try out are arancini con ragu, arancini con funghi, arancini con burro, and arancini con melanzane. Among the famous Italian foods that feature in every Italian food list.

9.Tiramisu

Tiramisu

This is a famous coffee-flavored Italian desert which originated in the Veneto region in Italy and is served all over the world. But the dish is finer, creamier, and tastier in Italy. Tender lady fingers are dipped in espresso. The main ingredients used for preparing this sweet dish are ladyfingers, eggs, sugar, cocoa, coffee, and mascarpone cheese. There are several innovative twists given to the traditional recipe of the tiramisu with delightful flavors such as chocolate, fruit, and the intriguing ch’i tiramisu. This definitely adds a sweet flavor to your overall Italian cuisine.

10.Torrone

Torrone

People often are confused with the origins of this dish, but this nougat-like candy dish prepared with honey, citrus zest, egg whites, and toasted nuts is a creamy, sticky delicious dessert. Sold in plenty across sweet shops and cafes all over Italy. This is a modern dish which is served usually dipped in rich chocolate. You can also try out this dish with a decadent treat to get a new variety.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on Italian cuisine

Is pizza invented in Italy?

Yes. Pizza was invented in Naples at the start of the 19th century. Today, we get several flavors of pizza globally. However, modern inventions like the pepperoni pizza are not from Italy. In fact, fancy toppings like bacon, potatoes, pineapple, chicken, and salmon are not something you will find in the pizzas served in Italy. The original Italian pizza has a simple recipe with basic ingredients like a thin crust with simple toppings like mozzarella, basil, and tomato sauce.

Are pizzas served in restaurants?

No. Italian pizzas are not part of the restaurant menu. They are only served in a pizzeria or pizza restaurant.

What is the average pasta an Italian eats in a year?

Pasta is synonymous with Italy and one of the staple diets in Italian cuisine. An Italian consumes 23 kg of pasta yearly compared to 8 kg in France and the United States. So you can imagine how crazy the locals are about their pasta. Many Italians consume pasta more than once a day. There are close to 350 types of pasta, so you can consume a different version almost every day of the year.

Is Garlic bread part of the Italian cuisine?

Garlic bread is often associated with Italian cuisine worldwide. Unfortunately, most restaurants do not feature garlic bread on the Italian cuisine menu. The closest local version you can get is the bruschetta.

Are spaghetti and meatballs part of the Italian cuisine?

Meatballs and spaghetti are not authentic Italian cuisine recipes but are served in Italy. You will find versions of meatballs like polpettes, but they are standalone Italian foods not served with soup or pasta. Likewise, spaghetti was created by Italian ex-pats in the United States and is definitely not part of authentic Italian cuisine.

What are the New Year food traditions of Italian food in Italy?

Italian has many culinary traditions for celebrating the New Year. One of the amazing facts is that New Year’s dinner menu will feature lentils because there is a myth that consuming lentils brings prosperity in the coming year.

What are the Christmas food traditions of Italian food in Italy?

One of the key Italian food items on the Christmas menu is the Panettone, a classical Italian cake in the form of a dome with dried resins, candied orange, and citron.

Does Caesar salad have Italian origins?

The popular Caesar salad has not originated in Italy. Instead, it has Mexican origins and was created by an Italian chef in his café in Tijuana.

Do Italians consume salad at the end of their meal?

Salads are not ordered for starters in Italy. Instead, a salad topped with olive oil and vinegar helps easy digestion after the meal.

Are breakfast buffets not a norm in Italy?

Globally the most important meal of the day is breakfast. However, it is exactly the opposite in Italy, where breakfast is consumed light to leave ample space for the pasta and pizzas to flow through the day. Hot espresso coffee with croissant bread is the best classical Italian breakfast.



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