Discover These Lesser Known Italian Foods

At some point in your life, you may have tried famous Italian foods such as pizza McKinney TX, pasta, panini and gelato. However, there are some appetizers, meals and desserts that you and others may not have heard about. You might find them either at a fine Italian restaurant or even at the old country. Learn more about some of these authentic Italian meals.

Parmigiana di Melanzane

You are likely familiar with chicken parmesan, an Italian American staple that combines chicken, marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. Its predecessor, parmigiana di melanzane, might be somewhat more obscure to you. People used certain vegetables as protein due to the lack of affordable meat in Europe. Grilled eggplant is usually topped with marinara sauce and baked parmesan cheese. Expect to see this dish more often if you travel to Italy today.

Prosciutto

Prosciutto crudo is a special type of thin, uncooked dry-cured ham. Italians generally enjoy the sweet and slightly salty flavor that results from curing the meat between one to three years. While not a dish itself, it complements other foods such as:

  • Pizza
  • Melon
  • Sandwiches
  • Figs
  • Crespelles (Italian crepes)
  • Fish

You can apply this meat to many different dishes, snacks and even desserts. However, distribution to the United States is limited, so it might be somewhat expensive.

Chicken Cacciatore

The word “cacciatore” translates to “hunter,” making it a hunter’s style meal. As such, it is often prepared with basic vegetables like peppers, onions and herb, accompanied with wild game meat like rabbit. Modern cacciatore versions feature chicken and even use the remaining grease to fry the vegetables. Most US restaurants also emphasize tomatoes and marinara sauce. Northern Italy recipes will add white wine to the sauce while southern versions use red wine instead.

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Italy has a large selection of dishes and snacks that you might not even know exist. Boost your curiosity by learning more about these delights and several more.