Italy’s 10 iconic foods. Part 2

Gelato is more creamy and at the same time contains less fat and sugar, while it sweet taste is provided by natural ingredients defining its taste.

To all (Italian) food fans, here are six more local dishes you may find while traveling around the land of taste.

#5 Tuscan olive oil from Lucca

Although olives can be found in nearly every Italian region, there are several places that stand out thanks to their savory and rich cold press olive oil. While most of us have heard of Tuscany, not everyone knows its top quality oil is produced in Lucca. Real cold-pressed oil is handicraft and expensive and demands the right technology, so its production is obviously limited. However, it’s an important ingredient of the Mediterranean cuisine and the local – Tuscan – cuisine as well. Just a small amount of this olive oil sometimes serves as the only additional flavoring to intensify the region’s simple food such as beans and bread soups. Even an already great steak becomes a masterpiece when garnished with a drizzle of this extra product.

Tuscan olive oil

Tuscan olive oil

 

#6 Lazio artichokes

This delicate edible thistle known as Rome’s symbol is cultivated in Lazio region. Called carciofo Romanesco, mammola or cimarolo, this type has no thorns or kernel and demands diligent trimming. Because of this, every plant creates one sprout. Produced in Rome, Viterbo and Latina, with vulcanic soil delivering a special taste, Lazio artichoke is complemented with some other sorts during the period. Freshly picked artichokes can be enjoyed uncooked, accompanied with a little bit of fine olive oil. Those small artichoke globes picked when the season is over are usually marinaded and preserved using olive oil to later enjoy during colder wintertime.

Lazio artichokes

Lazio artichokes

 

#7 Lazio ice cream

Who hasn’t heard of Roman gelato? The city homes around 2.5 thousand gelateries offering hundreds of flavors. Actually, ice cream and gelato are not the same thing. Gelato is more creamy and at the same time contains less fat and sugar, while its sweet taste is provided by natural ingredients defining its taste. Produced in smaller quantities, so the dessert can save its great flavor and silky structure, gelato is enjoyed the same day it is prepared. Rome’s masters are considered the best in the whole region and they create sweet goods in house with fresh milk products as well as high-quality components like locally grown fruits, great chocolate, nuts, and excellent alcoholic drinks. One of the tastiest flavors is cooked using fresh whey cheese – ricotta – and called Roman gelato di ricotta.

Lazio ice cream

Lazio ice cream

 

#8 Campania coffee

Dark-brown thick drink, espresso is surely a Naples’ crown jewel, drank hot from a very small cup. The local secret of preparing expresso lies here: grind coffee beans unless they become powder-like, pack the result in, blast boiling water through it involving the maximum pressure-level available (and safe). The top-ranked local bars roast coffee beans onsite and in small amounts. By the way, all other coffee options can be derived from this basic espresso. So, espresso comes as it is; adding lemon is fatuity. If you want a stronger drink, order ristretto. If, on the contrary, you want a less concentrated one, opt for lungo that contains more water. For a drink with a thin trickle of hot milk, ask a macchiato. Then there’s latte made from equal amounts of hot milk and espresso, and corretto resulting from adding an alcohol beverage to ristretto.

#9 Sicilian citrus fruit

You will notice this scent everywhere in Sicilia. This region savors of citrus – oranges and grapefruit, lemons, and limes. You will even find a nonedible sort of orange that is nevertheless used in cooking. This fruit’s bitterness is described as very specific and unique. Centuries ago, arangias used to be a luxury fruit available only for the upper class who would enjoy it mixed with fine Eastern spices and added to meats. But with time, this fruit became less popular because the rest citrus family grown locally replaced it.

Pecorino Romana
Pecorino Romana

 

#10 The cheese of Sardinia

The famous hard and salty cheese produced from sheep’s milk has a distinctive pleasantly sharp taste. Originally, it was added to food instead of expensive salt. Numerous copies of this cheese manufactured in other places don’t have the original’s distinctive features, because they are poorly handled. Pecorino Romana often accompanies different types of pastas with more flavored sauces, especially carbonara and alla matriciana. A good advice, however, is avoiding Pecorino Romano in case of more subtle dishes where ingredients don’t domineer each other. Parmigiano Reggiano is a better choice here.

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