Italy is one of the countries also seen as “foodie heavens”. If you are looking for a destination where you can learn a new mellifluent language and eat amazingly healthy and strong flavored food, Italy should be your first choice. As you take a roadtrip through the colorful European “boot”, you will notice that not only the dialect changes, but also the food preferences and the recipe books vary depending on the region visited.
The Italians are true traditionalists and keep their values intact. Having one of the most popular cuisines of the planet, they don’t allow no one to change or reinvent it and are really skeptical when it comes to new culinary ideas. Somehow, the Italian chefs never fail to impress us and although they’re working with the same old traditional ingredients, they succeed in creating some unique gourmet dishes that will make your journey unforgettable. The dolce far niente is never dolce without the main Italian ingredient – flawless Mediterranean dishes.
1Bagna càuda – alternatively written bagna caôda or bagnacauda, etymologically related to Italian root bagn-, meaning “wet”.
Gourmet Cuisine is not really about complicacy, but about flavor and innovative combinations. Sometimes the simplest dishes are the ones that conquer our hearts and warm our souls. The Piedmontese bagna cauda is definitely one of them. Served and consumed in a manner similar to fondue, it is made with garlic, anchovies, olive oil, butter, and in some parts of the region cream. The gourmet factor in this mediterranean dish is actually the table display.
2Ossobuco is a Milanese speciality of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and flavorful broth.
It was first attested in the late 19th century and considered a farmhouse dish or an invention of an osteria, a neighborhood restaurant of Milan. We’re talking about a comfort food dish that was transformed in a unique gourmet mediterranean dish by the Italian and international chefs. Although Ossobuco is often garnished with gremolata and traditionally served with risotto alla milanese, the gourmet cuisine couldn’t resist to combine it with lots of other flavors and ingredients, such as aromatic herbs, asparagus and other sauteed vegetables. They even started building raw and vegetarian recipes similar in taste with the original recipe. The Italian traditionalists would never approve of such ‘inventions’, but the vegans are in love!
3 Saltimbocca, written occasionally also as saltinbocca and translated as “jumps in the mouth” is a dish loved by the Europeans, especially because of its strong authentic flavors.
This dish is the definition of gourmet simplicity itself. A fine slice of veal topped or lined with some authentic prosciutto crudo and sage or basil, marinated in white wine, olive oil or saltwater, depending on the region or one’s own taste. That’s all! The chefs have found throughout the years multiple ways to exhibit this gorgeous Mediterranean dish in an exquisite way, by placing capers or fine raw treads on top of it, or by making delicious fusions with the herb element – the aromatic sage.
4Spaghetti al nero di seppia, with squid ink, is a classic pasta dish, on of the first fish dishes in Italy.
Despite its humble origins, this dish is considered one of the pearls of the Italian gourmet cuisine, especially because of its spectacular color palette. It looks like a dark painting with strong colorful accents, when topped with bright red cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs or mild white San Jacques scallops. This Mediterranean dish was created within the necessity of using all parts of the cuttlefish, including the thin bags of black ink found inside its bowels. This particular ingredient represents the strong, valuable flavor and scent of the sea that the chefs adore.
5Carciofi alla romana, literally translated as “roman-style artichokes”, is a typical dish of Roman cuisine.
This dish is prepared in each household and served in all the Italian restaurants in spring-time, together with an other special Mediterranean dish that the Italians love, Carciofi alla giudia. Carciofi alla romana is one of the most famous artichoke dishes of the Roman cuisine and one of the most popular antipasti in the gourmet cuisine, due to its ‘complex simplicity’. The flowery appearance of the Romanesco artichokes, harvested only between February and April in the coastal region NW of Rome, between Ladispoli and Civitavecchia, awards a simple dish that contains only a few ingredients, such as olive oil, parsley, mentuccia, garlic, white wine, salt and pepper. Chefs use their gourmet magic wand especially while creating a tremendous plating when it comes to this delicious Mediterranean dish.
In conclusion, gourmet cuisine in italy is more than appealing, especially for those of you who are true gourmands. Pack your suitcase, grab your lover’s hand and start this amazingly flavored journey! What Mediterranean dish is first on your foodie lover list? 🙂