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Italy: Bon Appetito!

- Hannah

Italy has always been known for the quality and flavor of it’s unique foods.

Cheeses, olives, bread, wine and more; mealtimes are a time of gathering and communion in the family for many Italians.

My family passed through Italy on our bicycle trip around Europe, and so we got to eat Italian food for a whole month as we pedaled our way down the Adriatic Coast. Here’s some of my favorite (and least favorite) foods that we ate:

Buffalo Mozzarella

This is one of my favorite cheeses; and trust me, I have many! It is normally ball shaped, and when bought in a market comes in a plastic bag with it’s natural juices to preserve the flavor. It has a rich, milky taste, is quite chewy, and utterly delicious!

Olives, olives and more olives!

Olives were one of Italy’s main attractions for me. I’m a huge olive fan and would eat them all day long if it were possible. Many of the markets will have whole stalls dedicated entirely to the olive industry, with multiple families comparing secret family recipes passed down and modified through generations to achieve that perfect flavor.

Giant pans full of olives sit in the stalls: pepper stuffed, cheese stuffed, some with names I honestly can’t pronounce, green, purple, red, brown-green, spicy, briny, but all delicious!

Pizza (Yuck)

Everyone says that Italian pizzas are mouthwatering delicacies. There are restaurants everywhere advertising fresh authentic Italian pizza, with pictures of giant pies with perfectly crispy golden crust, soft, stringy cheese, sausages, pepperonis, you name it, they’ve got it! The only problem is… Italian pizza is really quite awful! Just for kicks, we ordered one. It came with an egg cracked raw on top, peas, carrots and frozen broccoli. The broccoli was still frozen when it came out. Italian pizza was definitely not on my list of favorites.

Pasta, plenty of it!

Pasta is one of Italy’s main foods. It comes in all shapes, sizes and colors, and is utterly delicious. Various different sauces are used in the pasta, and it is often homemade. We ate pasta practically all the time when we were riding in Italy.

I was constantly amazed by the great care that Italians take with the preparation of their food. Unlike in our Western culture, food is an art and a joy to take part in. It is a way of bringing the family together and celebrating times of plenty. Italians greatly enjoy food in a way that we just don’t see in many other countries. Want to try out some Italian recipes for yourself?

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