Sure, if you travel to Italy, you’re going to have some delicious pizza and some amazing gelato, you’ll try carbonara and then some famous tiramisu. But there is a whole long list of amazing and timeless Italian dishes that we bet you have no idea about that you absolutely need in your stomach ASAP. Here are just five examples of some of the classic Italian dishes most tourists don’t know about, but should.
1. Làgane e ceci
From the southern Italian region of Basilicata, this simple dish of pasta, chickpeas, olive oil and garlic is a local favorite, yet it has somehow slipped under the radar of hungry travelers.
Photo via Flickr/Giuseppe Cucco
Delicious local Montasio cow’s milk cheese of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region is cooked to a semi-melt, usually with potatoes, and often also spiced with sugar and cinnamon, served on its own or over toasted bread.
Photo via Flickr/cindystarblog
3. Bagna caôda
A warm dip for fresh veggies like peppers, onions and celery, this classic from Piedmont is made of olive oil, butter, garlic, anchovies, walnuts, and then some more olive oil.
Photo via Flickr/« R☼Wεnα »
Tourists tend to flock to gelato shops and go crazy for the common cannoli, but few realize that the northernmost Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige has a bit of an Austrian / Hungarian influence on its cuisine. Here the Strudel, composed of fruits, nuts and spices between sheets of flakey pastry, reigns supreme.
Photo via Flickr/www.ilreporter.com
5. Frittelle di fiori di zucchine
When tourists stop in the pizza places in Rome, they don’t always realize they’re actually supposed to order a starter dish first, not just a pizza. Zucchini flowers are delicious, and in Rome even more so because they come deep fried after being stuff with mozzarella cheese and a single anchovy. Nothing beats it.
Photo via Flickr/Michelle Fabio