Sunday, 21 February 2016

Adventures In Food: Italy


Gelato needs no introduction, but you may not know that gelato is a separate product that contains less milk fat and air than regular ice cream. Try to find a gelateria where the gelato is made on-site (it will usually say 'produzione propria' and/or 'artigianale' in the window) and don't go to one where the gelato is piled high as this indicates more air whipped in, and thus a lower quality.

{aperol spritz}

The Italian national cocktail is the perfect pre-dinner drink.

{espresso macchiato}

We loved being able to stop for a coffee for Kyle, and it wasn't a big drain on time or money. You can be in and out from the espresso bar in under five minutes and an espresso will set you back around 1 Euro. Win win! An espresso macchiato is a shot of coffee with a dash of frothed milk in it.


Pasticini is something to enjoy standing up at the espresso bar or on the go, the perfect choice for me when Kyle was having a coffee! I loved the crispy base/ silky mousse combo and the choc hazelnut flavor (an Italian classic!) of the croquant on the left. The choices on the right... omg those little pastry tubes filled with custard and rolled in nuts.... just divine!


This is one of the best things that I have ever eaten! Cannolis are made of a fried pastry dough filled with a sweet, creamy ricotta filling. The filling was cold yet flavourful, with a light citrus flavor, and dipped in chocolate at one end and nuts at the other. Holy moly happy tastebuds.


You can't walk into any old restaurant in Italy and assume they will have great pizza- there are still plenty of tourist traps! Look for wood-fired pizza with not too many toppings.


The classic combination of sponge and whipped cream, coffee and chocolate. (Side note: this is two portions of tiramisu. The waiter took one look at me and decided to bring me two (and still only charge for one). How did he know?!)


There is a theme emerging with the pizza, pasta and even the focaccia below. We are familiar with these foods, but a key difference is that in Italy, they are not overloaded with tons of different flavours at once. My ravioli (left) was ricotta with a creamy pesto sauce (genovese), the spinach pasta in the middle had a fresh tomato sauce with buffalo mozzarella on top, and the pasta on the right was truffle and olive oil. Very simple, very delicious!


Well I did hear a rumour that focaccia was invented in the 1970s.... but no matter the story, focaccia is certainly a part of getting a quick and delicious lunch in Italy today. It begins with a moist, oven-baked dough, continues with whatever flavor your heart desires- potato, olives, veggies, cheese- and finishes with lots of herbs, olive oil and salt on top.

{sfogliatelle and cappuccino}

Sfogliatelle is a shell-shaped pastry which is known for it's layers of thin pastry. This was one of the best pastries I had in Italy, I went back to the same shop several mornings in a row for this breakfast (and if you know me, you know I'm not in it for the coffee!). This sfogliatelle was filled with a citrus flavoured ricotta. In Italy you may not order a cappuccino after noon as milky coffees are considered a morning-only drink.

{biscotti cantuccini and vin santo}

We were lucky enough to have some local guides show us around Florence, and I probably wouldn't have tried biscotti dipped in wine if we hadn't! This almond biscotti is native to Florence and you should definitely try to get Vin Santo wine if you want to try this- it just won't be the same otherwise! Vin Santo is very sweet and syrupy so it is perfect for dessert. Yum yum yum and something a little different for dessert!

{tuscan pine nut cake}

Kyle really enjoyed this cake as it was not too sweet, but moist, with a sprinkling of pine nuts in the top.

We loved travelling and eating in Italy!

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