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Written by
Laura
Laura

Walking in Italy - Regional Cuisine

One of the best parts of a walking holiday in Italy is getting to enjoy some of the wonderful food and drink Italy is so well known for! If you are thinking of going walking in Italy, be prepared to put on weight as you sample some of these local specialities!
 

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi-Coast               Famous for its use of lemons, tomatoes, fresh vegetables, mozzarella and olives the local cuisine here is simply divine! Mozzarella di Buffalo is from this region and features in many of the dishes.  Try 'Caprese' as a delicious starter to your meal which is fresh Buffalo Mozzarella combined with fresh tomatoes and basil. Naples is also the home of pizza, so expect to try some real authentic Italian pizzas here - you can't beat a traditional Mozzarella pizza to curb those hunger pangs after a long day on one of our Amalfi Coast walking holidays.  Obviously, numerous pasta dishes are to be found but some specialities include Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (potato gnocchi baked in tomato sauce with mozzarella) and Scialatielli (a mix of flour, bran, finely cut parsley, pepper and grana cheese, usually served with a fresh cherry tomato sauce with clams). [caption id="attachment_4423" align="alignright" width="300"]amalfi coast walking holiday, walking in italy, walking holidays in italy Fresh produce on the Amalfi Coast[/caption] Fish features very frequently on Amalfi Coast menus and you can try numerous types of fresh fish including cod, monkfish and grey mullet. Clams, shellfish and sardines are also common and Spaghetti alla Vongole (Spaghetti with Clams) is a firm favourite! And then, of course, there are the lemons -  they not only look lovely growing in their groves but also taste delicious too! You will be amazed at the size they grow to and they also help to produce the famous Limoncello. This is a delicious liqueur served most commonly as a digestive and offers the perfect end to a delicious meal!  Or another favourite is the mouth-watering Delizia, a delicious lemon cake famous in this area.

Piedmont

Piedmont               If you see yourself as a bit of a foodie and want to enjoy some of the best cuisine Italy has to offer, then there is no better walking holiday for you than our Barolo Vineyard Trail.  The Barolo Vineyard Walking Trail winds its way through Piedmont, Italy’s hidden paradise for wine connoisseurs and gourmets. [caption id="attachment_4425" align="alignleft" width="300"]walking holidays in italy, walking in italy, walking in amalfi, walking amalfi coast, walking barolo Famous white truffles[/caption] Piedmont is a region where food comes first, with a host of specialities in an area which boasts centuries' old culinary traditions and outstanding, top quality local produce and raw materials, more of which have been granted protected, guaranteed status than in any other region of Italy and which are used to make products which are adored throughout the world.  The cuisine in this region of Italy is different to any other Italian region due to the fact that olives do not grow so well so the cooking relies more on butter and lard, gamey local meats and root vegetables which are cooked for long periods to let the flavours develop slowly. In fact, Alba is actually home of the 'slow-food' movement. Rather than pizzas and tomato-based sauces, you are more likely to find risotto, polenta or cheese fondue. (Gorgonzola cheese is mainly produced here). This area is also famous for the prized white truffle,  Tube Magnatum.  Try white truffle sprinkled over either Risotto or Tajarin which is the Piedmont version of tagliatelle, made with egg-rich dough.  Or try it with Fagiano al tartufo (pheasant with truffles).  Either way, it is a gastronomic experience you will be sure never to forget!
Some other specialities to be savoured are Peperoni alla Bagna Cauda  (grilled peppers with an anchovies and garlic sauce usually served as an antipasti), a delicious meaty dish such as Vitel Tone (boiled veal with tuna sauce), or Fritto Misto ( a classic local main, comprising almost anything - from courgettes to mushrooms, lamb, veal, liver, brains or sweetbreads, through to apples, pears and even sweet amaretti - deep-fried and served together).
[caption id="attachment_4426" align="alignright" width="300"]walking in italy, walking holidays italy, walking in barolo, barolo vineyard Wine cellar in Barolo,[/caption] Sweets are not to be missed out and are also very special in Piedmont. Honey, hazelnuts and chocolate all feature regularly in Piedmontese treats and some specialities include hazelnut cake, hazelnut biscuits Nocciolini di Chivasso and Gianduiotti chocolates ( a blend of cocoa and toasted hazelnuts). To accompany your meal in Piedmont, you can't beat one of the fantastic wines available in this area such as Barolo or Barbaresco. Piedmont is a fantastic wine region with plenty of good quality wines available to sample.

 Liguria - Cinque Terre

CInque-Terre

          Grapevines and olive trees cover the hillsides in this area so olive oil and wine are prevalent on the table in this region!  Also, being on the coast seafood dishes are very popular - in particular Monterosso Anchovies (accuighe) which are a real local speciality.  Pesto sauce (made from basil, extra virgin olive oil, grated pecorino cheese and pine nuts)  is originally from here too and again is frequent accompaniment to many of the dishes you will try in this area. [caption id="attachment_4427" align="alignleft" width="300"]walking in italy, walking holidays in italy, walking tuscany, walking holidays in tuscany, cinque terre, walking cinque terre Cinque Terre restaurant[/caption] Some local specialities include Trofie (pasta made with chestnut or wheat flour and served with Pesto sauce), Borago Officinalis (vegetable pies prepared with a stuffing), Cotoletta di Acciuga (anchovies stuffed with a breadcrumb based filling and then fried), and Frittelle di Bianchetti (fritters made from tiny newborn anchovies).
Traditional fish dishes include stewed cuttlefish, stuffed calamari and spiced octopus and these are often enhanced with oregano which is very important in the local cuisine.  While antipasti in other parts of Italy means cheese and meats, in this region you will be served Antipasti di Mare (fruits of the sea).
To finish off your meal try the local dessert Torta della Nonna (grandmothers cake) with a glass of Sciacchetra which is a delicious local dessert wine. With all this delicious food available, you may find it difficult to get moving again on one of our Cinque Terre walking holidays!  

Tuscany

Tuscany             Tuscan food is simple and very hearty - perfect for hungry walkers!  Mellow cheeses, grilled meats, roasted or wine-braised game and beans feature regularly in local recipes. [caption id="attachment_4428" align="alignright" width="300"]walking in italy, walking holidays in italy Grape Harvest Chianti[/caption] One of the most famous Tuscan specialities is Bistecca alla Fiorenta (Steak Florentine) which consists of a t-bone or porterhouse steak marinated simply in olive oil and garlic and grilled over hot coals. Some other local specialties include Ribollita (a really hearty cabbage and bean soup), Stracotto (braised beef), Salsicce (Italian pork sausage), and Pollo alla Fiorentina (a delicious combination of chicken breasts with bread crumbs, Parmesan, spinach, onion, celery, cream cheese, paprika and garlic powder). If wine is your forte, then the best place to visit is Chianti.  As well as beautiful landscapes, Chianti is home to some of the finest red wines in Italy including the famous Chianti Classico.  Food and wine appreciation is a serious business in Chianti and on our Discover Chianti tour, you will have the chance to enjoy some of the best wines available. You can taste over 50 wines at the  Le Cantine di Greve in Greve in Chianti   If your mouth is watering, and you can't wait to set off and sample some of the above tasty Italian food and drink then why not take a look at our walking holidays in Italy and contact our destination specialist at Macs Adventure to discuss your next trip.
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