Vegetarians in Italy

In 2016, Milanese shock jock Giuseppe Cruciani taunted vegetarians by cooking and eating a rabbit while on the air. This prompted a few “vegan fundamentalists” to protest outside the radio station, and Cruciani eventually exited the building, carrying a large salame [what we’d call a salami in English], to continue fanning the flames of controversy. Despite how this particular episode was framed, i vegetariani [vegetarians] are not exactly … Continue reading Vegetarians in Italy

Burrata in the making

La burrata is a type of formaggio fresco [fresh cheese] originally created in Andria, Puglia. Lately it seems like burrata has become the “it” cheese among trendy American restaurants – Italian and even non-Italian eateries feature burrata on their menus, as an appetizer, pizza or pasta topping. Essentially a pouch of stretched curd that encloses a filling of mozzarella shreds and panna [cream], la burrata is best eaten with … Continue reading Burrata in the making

Eating at a sit-down pizzeria in Italy

Not sure about etiquette when dining in an Italian pizzeria? Relax, pizzerie [pizzeriaS] tend to be casual places…and happy places, since everyone has a chance to enjoy this: Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions tourists have about dining in pizzerie in Italy: Can I eat with my hands?  Pizzerie serve la pizza tonda [round pizza] whole, uncut, on top of a plate. If you’re new to this … Continue reading Eating at a sit-down pizzeria in Italy

La farinata at Sa Pésta

Once a powerful maritime republic, Genova [Genoa in English] today is a port of call for cruise ships; a hub for ferries to Sardegna, Sicilia, and other Mediterranean islands; and usually a quick stopover for travelers on their way to Cinque Terre. But don’t let its unassuming nature fool you: from pesto to focaccia, farinata to fresh frutti di mare [seafood], Genova is a must-eat for Italian foodophiles. The City of Genova maintains a … Continue reading La farinata at Sa Pésta

Easter sweets

La Pasqua [Easter] is celebrated throughout Italy and, like most holidays, is associated with specific foods. In this post, we’ll look at four of the most popular sweets linked to la Pasqua in Italy. You’ll see pasticcerie [cake shops] start making and displaying these treats several weeks before the springtime holiday. La colomba pasquale [Easter dove]: a plus- or cross-shaped cake that roughly mimics the shape of a bird, with a taste and … Continue reading Easter sweets

Color flavors of gelato

Counting gelato flavors is like counting stars: an ambitious yet ultimately impossible task, given the seemingly infinite number of possibilities. But why count them when you can taste them? Unit 14 in Italian Through Food lists several dozen of the most popular gelato flavors. In this post, we’ll explore a few gusti [flavors] named after colors, a particular category in that the flavors keep changing. gelato blu / gelato azzurro / gelato Puffo: … Continue reading Color flavors of gelato

Pizza regulations

Pizza has the distinction of being both a global phenomenon and a local speciality. You’ll find pizza in most countries around the world, but every nation, if not city, is going to have its own take on the pie. New York-style pizza, Chicago-style pizza, Hawaiian pizza, Mexican pizza, Swedish pizza, Canadian pizza, Japanese pizza…the list of pizza styles is long and full of intrigue. The … Continue reading Pizza regulations

Is parmesan cheese the same as Parmigiano?

Yes! But sometimes, no! Basically it depends. Many dictionaries will give parmesan as the translation of Parmigiano. There is good reason for this: in 2008, the European Court of Justice established that only the certified product known as Parmigiano Reggiano DOP could be sold under the English language name “Parmesan” in the EU. And yes, […]

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A few facts on coffee in Italy

Most of the world’s coffee is grown in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. So if the Italians don’t grow it, why is il caffè an Italian cultural institution? The Italians don’t grow coffee beans, but they certainly do roast them. As of late 2010, one report counted over 700 Italian companies devoted to roasting coffee. By means […]

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