It’s nearly impossible to think of Italy without dreaming about decadent plates of pasta, baked-to-perfection-pizzas, and an abundance of gelato. But what if I told you that there’s more to this diverse and delicious country than simply pasta and pizza? Read on to discover some of Italy’s best-kept culinary secrets…
Similar to arancini, these fried balls of rice are one of Italy’s street food staples and come stuffed with fresh mozzarella cheese and occasionally tomato sauce. Often served as an antipasto in pizzerias, they can also be found served by outdoor street vendors dotted throughout the streets of Rome.
Literally translated into Bone Hole, this meaty dish originates in Milan and is aptly named for the exposed bone and marrow in the veal itself. Braised with red wine and vegetables until tender, the meat is topped with gremolata (a blend of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest). And is usually served with polenta or risotto.
Carciofi alla Giudia
These Jewish-style fried artichokes are one of the best-kept secrets of Roman cuisine. With a deep history originating from 16th century Rome. The Jewish people in Rome were ostracised and segregated to a local ghetto, where they received poor-quality produce. Frying their vegetables was the only sure way of eliminating the bacteria, and thus fried artichokes were born. These crispy treats have a historical significance and are still very prevalent on menus today throughout Rome.
Bologna, Italy is home to some of the world’s best truffles. So enamored with this fragrant Fungi, Italians have named an entire festival, Tartufesta, in its honor. Truffle hunting season runs October through to December, and if you’re a dedicated foodie who likes to work for their supper – this is a must-do activity!
With humble origins from coastal Puglia, this stuffed mussel dish is a thrifty way to make a small dish of mussels into a hearty meal. The process begins with steaming mussels in a simple broth. Once the mussels are steamed, they’re stuffed with a breadcrumb and cheese mixture and then tied with kitchen string. The mussels are then left to cook in a mixture of tomato sauce and the broth they were steamed in. Feast on these mussels with a hearty side of bread and a large finger dipping bowl nearby. They’re messy, but oh-so-worth-it.
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