No matter which region you visit in Italy, you’ll always be eating some great food and preferably lots of it:-). Obviously it is not only the north of Italy is gastronomically interesting, also the South of Italy has a lot to offer. One of my preferred regions in the South of Italy is Campania
Who says Campania, says Naples… (and Italians (including me) also say Antonio de Curtis) these two should just be mentioned in one breath. For me his region has f some of the most beautiful spots in Italy besides Naples , just think of the Costiera Amalfitana with cities like Sorrento, Salerno or the island Capri, ….
On a gastronomical level, Campania has an incredible heritage, as a few of the most well-known Italian products like Pasta, pizza, mozzarella and limoncello are originally from this region. I can only confirm that the best pizza I have ever eaten was in Campania! There are of course also other typical dishes from this region that you should just try, but you’ll see that like in the other southern regions in Italy, they use lots of lemons, orange, lam, garlic and cities close to the coast will use lots of fish and shellfish like octopus, sardines, anchovies to make the most yummy dishes you have ever had! There are some you should definitely try if you visit this region:
- Spaghetti alle vongole
- Neapolitan-style lasagna, (I so love lasagna),
- Caprese with buffalo mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes,
- Capri Chocolate Cake,
- Babà, a rum-soaked sponge cake
- Pizza Margherita (you cannot go to Campania without trying the real thing!
I remember if it were yesterday, me sitting on the terrace on a nice summer evening, overlooking the sea at the Costiera Amalfitana with some spaghetti alle vongole and some local white wine (my fav. Is Greco di tufo from Di meo for example)…. …. I have never felt more relaxed….
To me this is the most special region of them all, not only because it is an island. You can really see lots of influences of all the tribes that have concurred it, Ostrogoth’s, Byzantines, Arabs , Normans etc… A good example of a city where you think you’re not in Italy anymore is Cefalù, you really feel like being in Morocco or Tunisia.
Not only do you see it in the cities, but also the food is strongly influenced. Gastronomia della strada, is something you cannot miss in Sicily, these are all small stalls where you can buy traditional Sicilian dishes. Usually it are dishes like Panelle (like an omelet with chickpeas as a base (like Humus)), pane con la milza (like a hambuger), stigghiole (meat roles), quarume, fritola (fried fish) and one of my favorits, arancini (filled rice balls)
The central eating pattern of the Sicilians exists out of pasta, vegatables and they cannot live without bread with sesame seeds (something we have in common). Some great examples of dishes like these are
- Pasta con le sarde (pasta with sardines)
- Pasta alle Norma (Pasta with eggplant)
- Pasta o niuru di siccia (nero di seppia/ squid)
Like I had already said, lam and fish play a central role in their cuisine, or fish.
A few of the must eat dishes with fish are ‘Alici crude al limone’ (little fishes with lemon) or some Agnello al forno… but the list of great dishes goes on and on…
If you have a sweet tooth, Sicily is the place for you as there desserts are really sweet (in every sense of the word. My personal favorite is Cannoli Siciliane!
The Sicilian wines (especially the red ones) are also getting better and better, but because the grapes see a lot of sun, the wines have quit a higher alcohol percentage…. One of my favorites is Don Pietro from Spadafora
When you would go to Sicily, try to visit, Cefalù, Taormina and Agrigento, you won’t regret it!
I could keep going on and on, but I have to stop somewhere… 😦