To most North Americans, Italy is known for pasta, pizza, gelato and tiramisu. And while these dishes are delightful, there are many others worth exploring. I try to taste the local cuisine when I’m travelling. If it doesn’t tickle my palate after a couple bites, at least I know for next time.
Here are three authentic, yet unusual food recommendations:
I was pleasantly surprised to come across stuffed zucchini blossoms; filled with cheese and spices, dipped in batter and then cooked in olive oil… how does that not sound good? Crispy, cheesy and delicious is the best way to describe this dish! If you want to try it out at home, I came across a similar version done by Jamie Oliver.
This one may freak some of you out, but the truth is, you may not even realize that you’re eating it… it’s donkey! That’s right, donkey or mule is a common deli meat that is thinly shaved, put in a bun and served in coffee bars and cafes. To me, it looks like your average salami and tastes similar too. When in Rome (or Sicily)…
Last on my list is blood sausage. Blood sausage in Italy is often a bit ‘o everything from the pig, all rolled into an honestly tasty sausage. Depending on the region, you may even come across some that have hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and nuts. Actually, you may be surprised to know that cinnamon is a very common ingredient in tomato sauces too.
If you’re going to Italy, my advice is to enjoy all that it has to offer; be sure to savour the mouth-watering pastas, cheeses and desserts, but also challenge yourself to try some different things too.