Every culture around the world has its own authentic cuisine, delicacies, and everyday food. Italy is no exception. In fact, Italian food is one of the most famous types of cuisine found around the world, often with a local adjustment made.
When it comes to Italian food, however, we automatically think of spaghetti, pizza, and minestrone soup, for example. But there is more to Italian food than meets the eye. Read on to discover five foods that you probably didn’t know are Italian in origin.
This yummy appetizer is served in many restaurants in the United States, not just Italian ones, but did you know that calamari is an authentic Italian dish? Calamari it typically sauteed in lemon and oil. Some restaurants add hot or banana peppers to add extra flavor to the squid, which comes in deliciously shaped rings or tentacles.
2. Cow’s Face
Cow’s what? Yup, that’s right – cow’s face. In Italy it’s called “Muss’ e voooi” and is considered a delicacy in the south. You can find it sold by vendors and restaurants, especially during festivals, and can be eaten in a sandwich. Maybe so you don’t see its face?
3. Sea Urchins
You know those black prickly creatures you try not to step on when reef snorkeling? Well, Italians love to eat them. In fact, the spikes we are so afraid of are the best part to eat of the sea urchin. It’s prepared baked or steamed to get at the meat inside the shell. Add a dash of lemon for extra flavor or add it to your spaghetti sauce for an authentic Italian meal.
Known as “Vigilia di Natale,” eel is another favorite dish in Italy. Eel is prepared roasted, grilled, or fried and is considered a cherished traditional Italian dish served on Christmas Eve.
Rabbit meat is eaten throughout Italy. On the Island of Ischia off the coast of Naples, rabbit in white wine sauce is a favorite. In Tuscany, they tend to eat hares, which are bigger than rabbits. No part of the rabbit goes to waste, with Italians consuming the kidneys and even the brain, along with the rest of the rabbit’s organs. The meat is a great addition to a spaghetti sauce or served grilled.
While there are likely many more Italian food you have never heard of or simply didn’t know are traditionally Italian, the five listed above can doubtless be found in any Italian restaurant in Italy.