Last week I was invited to join the hosts of Eye on Italy for their podcast taping and to share information on traveling in Calabria. Inevitably, the subject of food came up and I was asked, along with fellow American in Calabria and podcast co-host, Michelle Fabio, which Calabrian foods are our favorites.
You can listen to the full podcast, but I’d also like to share some of that information with you today. Here are five Calabrian food items you should try when you visit Calabria.
I’ll warn you, this stuff can be so hot it’ll singe the skin on the roof of your mouth. Still … you should try it. (Convinced yet?)
If you aren’t sure about eating ‘nduja in a restaurant, then pick some up at a local store, dab a bit on a piece a bread and slowly add to it until it is hot. It won’t take long.
2. Provola di Sila
This special type of provola cheese is made in the mountains of La Sila National Park and is sometimes called Caciocavallo Silano. Calabrians keep it in their homes and add it to sandwiches or eat it is as a snack-or sometimes offer it as a snack, like my father in law does.
I wouldn’t say I wasn’t an eggplant kind of girl before I came to Calabria, but I can definitely say I am one now. I *heart* this big purple produce, whether it is grilled, sott’olio, stuffed or baked.
If you see it in restaurants as either part of an antipasto or as melanzane ripiene then try it.
4. Anything Spicy
Yes, we technically hit this with the ‘nduja entry, but if spicy sausage isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy Calabria’s famous natural viagra. You can ask for it to be added to your pizza or request a piccante antipasto or pasta dish.
I was actually trying to think of a dish where you shouldn’t add peperoncini … and I couldn’t think of one. Can you?
Unless you’ve spent time in Calabria, you might not know that Brasilena is a cold espresso beverage made with Calabrian mineral water taken from the source at Monte Covello in the province of Catanzaro. These drinks are especially enjoyable on hot summer days … like the ones that are approaching.
Is your favorite Calabrian food item not on the list? What would you add?
Traveling to southern Italy? Click here to see how I can help you plan your trip to Calabria or southern Italy.