It’s not just pizza and pasta that makes Italian food so great. Regions of Italy have made various dishes and cuisines famous like Naples and pizzas, Rome and pasta cabonara, the variety of dishes is endless. Here’s a taste of Italy by the region to help you make sense of it all. With no mention of spaghetti bolognese!
Dish of the Day | Spring lamb with salt-cured anchovies.
Lazio Cuisine: Beef is usually the meat of choice in Lazio, however lamb and kid is also served. The meat dishes in this area tend to be heavy and over flavoured, a nod to the historic days of poverty with the peasants eating whatever was left over when the rich had finished.
Population of Lazio: 5.6 million
Top Eateries include:
VyTA Enoteca Regionale del Lazio
Dish of the Day | Chickpea Flatbread – also known as Farinata, a street food flatbread that is made from chickpea flour. Best eaten piping-hot and fresh out of the oven.
Liguria Cuisine: Food in Liguria is known for its simple flavours of fresh produce, in particular Pesto all Genovese. Dry and fresh pasta is eaten in this region. Liguria is home to the Cinque Terre, Portofino and Genoa, and boasts some of the best food in the country. As it is on the coast, seafood and fish are a big part of the diet and many recipes and dishes were created, or eaten on ships or by fishermen.
Population of Liguria: 1.5 million
Top Eateries include:
Dish of the Day | Cannoli (of course!) – how could anyone not love this Sicilian treat? A tube of fried dough filled with sweetened ricotta, topped with candied fruit, pistachios or chocolate!
Sicily Cuisine: Prepare to be overwhelmed by how diverse this region’s cuisine is, from cannoli to arancini it is world-famous. It represents a complex variety of cultures and as the ground is incredibly fertile, local produce grown includes olives, oranges, lemons, eggplants, tomatoes, pistachios, almonds, grapes and more.
Population: 5 million
Top Eateries in Sicily:
Ristorante da Vittorio
Ristorante Al Porticciolo
Dish of the Day – Lampredotto sandwich – Originally this is a poor sandwich and dates back to when the leftover cuts of meat were used to feed the city’s poorest people. It uses the fourth stomach of the cow, cooked in a broth and then served with a salsa verde or a spicy sauce.
Tuscan Cuisine: Based on the Italian idea of cucina povera or ‘poor cooking’, Tuscan food is all about simple, inexpensive dishes that can be made in volume. Ingredients are sourced locally and dishes are traditionally hearty. Tuscan people are very fond of soups, like ribollita, a vegetable and bread soup that is a classic comfort dish. Another favourite is cannellini beans as Tuscans are often called mangiafagioli or bean eaters and you can find them prepared in many different ways.
Population: 3.7 million
Top Eateries in Tuscany:
Restaurant La Pineta
Il Canto del Maggio
Relais Il Falconiere
Dish of the Day | Porchetta – an Umbrian delicacy that is pork carved right off a stuffed, herbed young pig. Most commonly found around lunchtime served on thick rolls as a sandwich or at dinner time as an option for an antipasto platter.
Umbrian Cuisine: Being in the centre of Italy their cuisine is best-known for being seasonal and sourced locally with delicious wines, olive oils and wild produce like truffles and wild asparagus. They also have a root to tip, or nose to tail approach to cooking leaving nothing going to waste.
Top Eateries in Umbria:
Ristorante Il Coccorone
Taverna Del Lupo