Italian cuisine has developed through the centuries, stretching all the way back to antiquity. It is characterized as simple with many dishes only having a couple of ingredients, but with a taste that will make any mouth water. With twenty different regions and each having its own culinary heritage, you will find that Italian heritage and food has something for everyone. In 2016, the restaurant Osteria Francescana was named the world's best restaurant, which is an honor and testimony of Italian cuisine. Below, our chefs have identified some of the most popular local dishes and ingredients in Italy. We recommend that you consult with your caterer about local specialties as well as what's available and in-season.
LOCAL INGREDIENTS IN ITALY BY REGION
There are 20 regions of Italy and each region has popular local ingredients that they are known for.
--- Lombardy: Gorgonzola, Panettone, Torrone di Colomb and Provolone.
--- Emilia / Romagna: Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano.
--- Tuscany: Olive oil and chianti wine.
--- Lazio: Artichokes and its pasta.
--- Campania: Buffalo Mozzarella and Limoncello.
--- Sicily: Lemons, blood oranges and almonds.
--- Abruzzo: Truffles, red garlic and grass pea.
--- Basilicata: Canestrato di Moliterno DOP, salted cod, and Aglianico wine.
--- Calabria: Eggplant, swordfish and Liquirizia di Calabria.
--- Friuli Venezia Giulia: Montasio DOP cheese and Gubana fruit cake.
--- Liguria: Pesto and pandolce fruit cake.
--- Marche: Verdicchio white wine, Ciauscolo salami.
--- Molise: Pecorino.
--- Piemonte: White truffles, tagliatelli.
--- Puglia: Burrata cheese, capocollo.
--- Sardegna: Bottarga a salted fish roe and Mirtu liquor.
--- Trentino Alto Adige: Apples and berries.
--- Umbria: Extra virgin olive oil DO, Castelluccio IGP lentils.
--- Valle d'Aosta: Fontina Cheese, Mocetta salami.
--- Veneto: Asiago cheese, bellini, Soppressa salumi.
To learn about Italian meal stages and traditional dishes, view our Italy Planning Guide.
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