Italy is best known for titillating the taste-buds of the food connoisseurs with the different varieties of regional recipes. Italian delicacies are not all about pastas and pizzas; rather the appetizers and the main courses that this part of the world offers are real epicurean delights! Read on as we have listed down some of the delicious (you read ‘weird’) Italian dishes that will surely fascinate every foodie.
Bottarga is popular as the poor man’s delicacy. It is the classic Sardinian and Sicilian recipe that is prepared from roe pouch of tuna, grey mullet or swordfish. The roe pouch is dried in sea salt and coated in beeswax till the time it hardens. Bottarga is shred over snacks as well as main dishes including pastas and antipasti. So, the next time, you are in Italy, do not forget to savor Spaghetti alla Bottarga!
Lampredotto is a popular preparation in Florence that can be savored from the food stalls located by the streets as well as in restaurants. Lampredotto is basically the fourth stomach of the cow that is parboiled in water with onion, tomatoes, parsley and celery. Lampredotto is popularly served in a bread roll with some parsley sauce and chili oil (optional). You can also snap this up in the market stalls and streets in Florence.
Coda alla vaccinara
The butchers in Rome actually invented the recipe of Coda alla vaccinara. The dish is made from cow’s cheeks and tail which was otherwise held as the discarded part of butchering. For preparing Coda alla vaccinara, the veal tail is parboiled and then stirred with ample amount of celery, carrots and aromatic herbs. Tomatoes and wine are also added and the mixture is further cooked with a soffritto of onions, garlic, prosciutto, pancetta and few other ingredients. A bouquet garni of bay leaves, celery stalks and cloves are put in the pot in the final phase of the preparation to add a distinct flavor. Coda alla vaccinara is generally prepared to taste sweet-and-sour and hence raisins or candied fruit or a small amount of grated bittersweet chocolate are also used.
Another dish prepared from the butchering scraps, Cibreo uses the heart and liver of the chicken and is cooked with the testicles of the rooster, combs of the cocks and wattles. This dish is very popular in Florence. Cibreo preparation also includes ‘unlaid’ eggs that are taken out from the freshly slaughtered hen’s interior. You can also savor the taste of Cibreo in some of the renowned restaurants in Italy.
Lardo di Colonnata
It is an awesome dish that is wonderfully flavored! Available in the town of Colonnata, Lardo is not for the one who is into any serious dieting! Lardo di Colonnata is rich pork fat that is cured with pepper, salt and rosemary and aged in typical marble tank. This dish is served by slicing it over the warm bread and at times, a little bit of honey is applied over it for added taste.
Rigatoni con la Pajata is a classic dish of Roman Cuisine that can be savored in some traditional ‘trattorias’ in Rome. Pajata refers to the intestines of the calf (un-weaned) which are cleaned and skinned, with the chyme left inside. The intestine is split into pieces of 20cm to 25cm long that are bound together with white thread, imparting the shape of the rings. While it is cooked, the combination of heat and enzyme rennet in the intestines thickens the chime, creating creamy and thick cheese-like sauce. The rings can either served seasoned or grilled. For making it a traditional Roman delicacy, these rings are stewed in a typical tomato sauce and served with rigatoni.