Italians love good food and this food has become a global cuisine that has been exported to all corners of the world. Almost everyone has their favourites.
The cuisine of Italy has an interesting history and traditionally, ingredients and cooking styles vary considerably depending on the region. You know you will be eating great food whether you are exploring Naples and the Amalfi Coast, the islands of Sardinia or Sicily, or the northern coast of Liguria. Here is a brief introduction into the some of the local specialities for you to savour while you are on your luxury yacht charter in Italy.
Naples claims to be the place where pizza originated. Enjoy the classic margherita: basil leaves atop bubbling local mozzarella, over a layer of tasty sun ripened tomatoes and flavoured with fruity olive oil, over a thin crispy base puffed to perfection in a wood-fired oven. Simple. Delicious.
Delicious pasta alla Genovese, a Naples specialty despite the name, consists of slow cooked veal simmered alongside caramelised onions, and it is packed with flavour.
Neapolitan coffee is strong, thick, and served often; don’t miss trying a pastry with it. Sfogliatelle is a delicious local delicacy that look like seashells when baked with a crunchy exterior filled with a sweetened creamy semolina and ricotta filling, sometimes flavoured with cinnamon, lemon zest or candied oranges.
The Amalfi Coast cuisine is synonymous with lemons. The air here is perfumed with the scent of citrus. Enjoy the large Sorrento lemons in the form of the rich, refreshing gelatos that you will find on every corner or the world-famous tart-sweet liqueur limoncello. These lemons can also be found in the flavourings of a number of different pastries including delizia, a dome-shaped cake with lemon-flavoured whipped cream.
The cuisine is also abundant in fish and seafood. Even today the fishing boats bring in fresh catch that gets delivered to just about every restaurant on a daily basis. And of course, this being Italy the seafood is mixed with pasta to make scialatielli ai frutti di mare, a dish made with a mix of sea food and the fresh egg-enriched pasta typical of the Amalfi Coast.
Sardinian food is enormously varied influenced by its central Mediterranean location and the people who have passed through here: Romans, Spanish, Arabs. As an island inevitably seafood plays an important part but in addition there is a long history of working the land so meats and cheeses also feature.
In the Maddalena archipelago, octopus salad is a classic specialty, while in Olbia dishes featuring clams and mussels are commonly found, often combined with pasta. Fregola, which means breadcrumbs, is a typical sardinian pasta made of semolina and rolled into small balls. There are many recipes but the most delicious is definitely a seafood fregola: with clams, mussels and prawns and served with some saffron broth and a loaf of crunchy bread.
Porcheddu is perhaps the most famous of all Sardinian foods. It is based on very simple ingredients where a suckling pig is stuffed with meat, rosemary, herbs and fennel then roasted over juniper or myrtle.
Cheese is a big deal in Sardinia. There are more than 3,500,000 sheep, goats and cows on this Italian island and there are literally hundreds of different cheeses. Pecorino, a matured salted sheep’s milk cheese is understandably their pride and joy with its intense flavours, while variations of the fresh, mild ricotta are found everywhere.
Sicily has a distinct cuisine that’s steeped in history. It is very much fusion food influenced by French, Arabic & North African settlers and based on home-grown produce and locally caught fish. Arancini are the most famous Sicilian snack. These deep-fried creamy risotto balls, often filled with meat or cheese, are a must-try.
Caponata, possibly Sicily’s most famous food export, is a typical Sicilian antipasto. It’s a deliciously tangy, sweet and sour combination of aubergine, tomatoes, capers, and vinegar, usually served at room temperature.
And for seafood Sicily is famous for its sardines. Pasta con le sarde is a delicious sauce of fresh sardines, salted anchovies & wild fennel with pine nuts, raisins and saffron stirred through bucatini, a type of spaghetti. Pine nuts and raisins are also used in beccafico a popular baked and stuffed sardine dish that is particularly loved in Palermo.
The Ligurian coast in north-western Italy, borders with France, and is known for its picturesque blend of mountains, green hillsides, rocky coastline, broken by sandy coves, and always the azure Ligurian Sea. It's an area that boasts some of the best food in Italy. It is the birthplace of the most famous of pestos, the Genovese Basil Pesto - delicious served over pasta.
Liguria is also home to the original, and many say the best, focaccia in Italy. Focaccia Genovese is thin being around two centimetres thick, and is flavoured only with salt and olive oil, but there are other regional specialities too, including focaccia di Recco (stuffed with soft cheese) and sardenaira with anchovies or sardines on top.
Seafood and fish are a big deal in the diet here, and many of the region’s famous foods and recipes were first invented, or eaten, on ships or by fishermen. The Ligurians especially love their sea bass, mussels and seppie, tiny little cuttlefish that are cooked simply and eaten as a snack or main meal.
Let us introduce you to these delicious regional specialities and others on a luxury charter yacht cruising Italy ... it will be the vacation of a lifetime! Please contact one of the professionals at Luxury Charter Group today and book your 2020 charter.
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