Review: Food in Italy

Is authentic Italian food as good as everyone says it is?

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A view of Positano (My Picture)

Italian food has a reputation for being the most incredible food on Earth. But is it actually? I traveled to Italy this summer and now have the ability to share my thoughts and answer the question that everyone is dying to know. Spoiler alert: Yes, it was very amazing.

(If you’re expecting a pizza review, then you might want to stop reading. Even Italy can’t get me to eat pizza. I hate it.)

Here’s a detailed review of my newfound expertise in Italian food:

Breakfast:

(Credit to Francesco Sapienza)
A typical Italian breakfast consists of a pastry and cappuccino.

Honestly, breakfast was terrible. Unless you like croissants and Nutella, you’re out of luck. I like neither, so as you could imagine, breakfast was a daily struggle. I don’t love breakfast to begin with, but I especially hated it in Italy. At our hotel in Sorrento, the options were better because it was a British hotel (think bacon, eggs, fruit), but in Rome, I didn’t really eat anything.

Review: 1 out of 5 stars

Pro tip: If you don’t like Nutella, don’t count on having breakfast. You won’t find anything without Nutella.

Gelato:

My first time eating Italian gelato. This flavor is cioccolato fondente. (My Picture)

Throughout most of our vacation, we were walking around Rome or relaxing on a boat in the Amalfi Coast, so we didn’t have time to sit down and eat lunch. Instead, we would grab gelato and eat it on the go. And it was amazing. Like truly amazing. I recommend the cioccolato fondente (dark chocolate) and caffe (coffee). Although each store had such a wide range of flavors, I couldn’t be bothered to try anything else because I was so content with the flavors I had already tried.

Review: 10 out of 5 stars

Pro tip: Ask the locals what their favorite gelato places are. They KNOW. Also, if you’re lactose intolerant, the cioccolato fondente gelato was dairy-free!

Dinner:

The best thing about Italy (especially Rome) is that you know that every restaurant is going to have incredible food. Likewise, the hardest part about Italy is having to chose which restaurant to go to because, again, every restaurant is going to have incredible food. I never had a bad dinner in Italy. What I ate in Rome was very different from what I ate in the Amalfi Coast, so I’m going to review them separately.

 

Rome: Every night in Rome, I had pasta. And let me clarify that Italian pasta is so much better than regular pasta. So. Much. Better. As much as I loved every meal I ate, I tried to never repeat my order so that I could get the full Italian pasta experience. The pastas I ordered go as following: cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper), bucatini all’Amatriciana (tomato sauce and bacon), pasta alla gricia (cheese and bacon), and spaghetti pomodoro with meatballs (tomato sauce). Each meal was savory and flavorful in its own way. A side of bread with olive oil created the perfect authentic Roman meal.

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

Pro tip: Nothing you order here will be bad. You are eating the best food in the world, so be sure to try a lot!

Amalfi Coast: By the time we reached the Amalfi Coast (Positano and Sorrento), I was a bit sick of pasta. After having eaten it every day for five days straight, I was in need of something else. The best meal I ate in both Positano and Sorrento was grilled lemon chicken. Since lemons are native to the Amalfi Coast, my meal tasted so fresh and delicious. Although not quite as good as the food in Rome, the food in the Amalfi Coast was still top-notch.

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Pro tip: Make sure to order something with lemon. Side note: If you want pizza, eat it here since Sorrento is so close to Naples. I didn’t eat it, but the general consensus amongst my family was that pizza from Sorrento was the best.

Dessert:

Tiramisu (Credit to Eating Europe)

Gelato is not the only good dessert that Italy has, although it is the best. Almost as good as gelato was the tiramisu. I ordered it at the airport in Rome after the flight from New York, and I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was. Yes, you read the right. The airport. Italians have such good food that even their airport food is amazing. American airports have Dunkin’ Donuts and convenience stores while Italian airports have world-class desserts. You tell me what’s better.

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

Pro tip: It’s acceptable to eat dessert as many times as you want a day when it’s as good as Italian desserts. Most days I had gelato more than once.

Perhaps the best part of Italian cuisine is the portion size. Unlike in America where you’re given your body weight in food at a restaurant, Italian restaurants give you the perfect portion. It’s enough food that you aren’t starving, but not enough that you feel like you’re bursting at the seams. You’ll feel less guilty about getting dessert or ordering multiple meals because you’re given less food to begin with, and you’ll leave the restaurant feeling great.

If you ever have the chance to go to Italy, go! Not only is the food out of this world, but the country itself is fascinating and full of history. I can’t wait to go back one day and be reunited with my favorite dark chocolate gelato. Until then, American ice cream will do.