Italians love to eat but the cuisine of the northern region of Tuscany is quite different from that of the southern region of Campania. Northern dishes are traditionally more meaty and hearty, like a ribollita; while those in the south highlight fish because of their proximity to the sea. Yet, that’s not to say that any less attention is given to incredible pasta dishes and desserts. So here are the Top 5 dishes to try while touring Campania
Photo by Guillermo Estevas
Sfogliatella – No trip to Naples or Amalfi would be complete without trying one of these delicious pastries for breakfast. The multi layers of light dough are formed into the shape of a seashell and offer the perfect crunch to compliment your morning latte or cappuccino.
AUTHOR’s PREFERENCE – while I have eaten fantastic sfogliatelle in Campania, some of the best I have ever tasted can be found at the coffee stands inside Rome Fiumicino airport.
Farfalle alla Caprese – These little bowtie or butterfly shaped pasta are cooked al dente and tossed with select virgin olive oil, fresh mozzarella, basil, garlic and sun-ripened tomatoes which have the unique flavor of the lava-rich hills of the region. This is served at room temperature but can be served hot so that the cheese just melts over the pasta.
Fried Zucchini Blossoms – This is a seasonal delicacy that always seems to magically appear on the Amalfi Coast no matter the time of year. In Campania, they stuff these tender orange flowers with ricotta and batter and fry them. You will not find these on the so-called “tourist menu” which offer things like Chicken Parmigiana, Mamma mia!
Stuffed Calamari or Cuttle Fish – stuffings are as varied for this little squiggly fish as the day is long. However, the stuffing is what makes this dish. Breadcrumbs are the base to which various ingredients such as pignoli, raisin, gorgonzola, onions, garlic and seasoning are added. They are then baked and served as an entrée. They are cooked to perfection when the fish just melts in your mouth.
Dolce – The Napoletani enjoy their desserts. One of the most enjoyable pastimes is to grab a café in a piazza, along with a babbá (rum-soaked cake).
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