Food is such a huge corner stone of Italian culture. Every time I indulge on a trip through Italy, which is very often I get that slightly bit happier, and a slightly bit fatter.
My Italian language skills extend to mainly food related phrases and there is a really good reason. I want to share my skills on how to get fat Italy, because if you can’t get fat in Italy, where can ya’ huh?
Pasta is sacred.
There’re literally hundreds of different kind of pasta and the species of pasta you smash in your mouth all depends on the consistency of the sauce. Thin sauce = large surface area of pasta, like penne or spirals or shells. They do white, brown, green, black (squid ink) pasta and it’s all good. Eat it all, eat it now, eat it often, not as a main course but as a starter.
Their Steak game is out of this world.
When you’ve seen a South African brought to tears by a humble steak, you know you’ve got it right. When in Florence, head over to my favourite, Francesco Vini, go with a big appetite and go for the ‘pay-by-the-kg’ steak. It’ll turn up steaming hot, cooked to perfection in a little pool of salty/garlic/pepper butter. If you don’t fall in love on first bite, there’s something wrong with you, add prosseco and bacon green peas and you’re in food mecca.
Gelato is lower in fat and higher in flavour.
A popular question, ‘what’s the difference between gelato and ice cream?’ Ice cream is made from cream whereas gelato is made from milk. Therefore – scientists and felly dairy lovers will agree that you can eat twice as much gelato as ice cream! On the topic of gelato, anyone else get weirdly passionate about which flavours match? Anyone who gets lemon sorbet and salted caramel and passion fruits needs a talking to! When in Florence, try Gelateria Dei Neri, in Rome go to San Crispino (get the blood orange gelato), In Venice, go to Gelato Alaska….ok, well maybe I just need to do a Gelato in Italy post
Dare you try cow stomach?
Do it, I dares you. Lampredotto is a local Florentine delicacy and can be only found in one tiny little food truck called Sergio Pollini. I was first introduce to cow stomach/trippa by a Venetian who really just wanted to see my squirm but actually it wasn’t as horrible as you’d think.
Venetian/bar food is incredible.
Polpo, cicchetti, prosecco, squid balls, meatballs, pure tomato, garlic sauce, parmesan crisps, baked artichoke, roasted chicory, on a scale of one to erogenous, it’s all full on erogenous. Head over to the Dorsoduro and fill your boots with little yummy morsels. Because calories don’t count if it’s small….right?
Their pizza will ruin you for life.
If you though the pepperoni pizza couldn’t be improved you need to think again. Move away from heretical Hawaiian and go for local flavours and ingredients. My favourite pizza is a fennel meatball pizza from this tiny little hole-in-the-wall place in Florence; Pizzeria Del Duomo. Everything from the tomatoes, the meat, the mozzarella comes from a 20-mile radius of the city. Dominos, Papa Johns and Pizza Express will never, even cast a shadow on real pizza.
Whilst we’re on the topic, try a white pizza sometime. Instead of tomato a white, creamy sometime cheese sauce is a base for mushrooms, thin strips of prosciutto and truffle oil.
Bread, salt, oil and vinegar is all you need.
Tuscan bread isn’t made with salt so it has an incredible fresh and yeasty flavour, which should be mopped up with plenty of olive oil, balsamic and a sprinkle of rock salt washed down with rich dark ruby Chianti.
You’ll have erotic dreams about prosciutto.
In Panini’s, sandwiches, wrapped around breadsticks, on pizza or just naked screwed up into a meaty flower of deliciousness, either way, it’s all so, so good! Make sure you try La Prosciutteria when in Florence
Your mums Bolognese is a lie.
Forget Bolognese, its all about the Ragu. Fact.
I didn’t even get to talk about the Verona polenta, pumpkin gnocchi, the Parmigano reigiano, the beauty of thin shavings of truffle, Orvieto wild boar meat pasta and sandwiches and my one true love, pesto!