We all know that Italy has 3 such national dishes that have become a famous International standout: Pizza, Pasta and Gelato ice-cream. I am so fortunate to have eaten these 3 delicacies in its origin country, Italy itself.
During my Italy tour in 2015, I visited a very old restaurant in a small town called Pompeii in Naples(Napoli in local language). It had an antique European architecture, with big round tables and metal chairs. The restaurant was quite big enough to accommodate a crowd of 100-120 at a time.
The musicians were playing lovely music in the background. A complete Hollywood movie style ambience! I was thoroughly enjoying it as a first time tourist of Europe.
I was more excited to taste a pizza there as Naples is called as the origin of Pizza. Though there are many speculations about it, the idea of flat bread found its way to Italy. In 1889, Queen Margherita visited her Italian kingdom and shown her interest in Pizza as she saw that many people were enjoying it. The special pizza that was made for her was with a toppings of tomatoes, Mozarella Cheese, and fresh Basil(the colours of these ingredients represent Italian Flag!). Since then this pizza is called as the popular pizza Margherita.
In a restaurant we were served with the same Pizza Margherita. It was having a very fresh thin crust, local garden fresh tomato sauce and lots of Mozarella Cheese. I was initially surprised with its simple preparation as I was used to seeing a pizza with lots of toppings-Single topping, double topping etc., but here it was, a simple original pizza in front of me. I tried to take out a piece using a fork and knife, it was easily cut unlike other pizzas, and it found its way to my mouth! Guys, let me tell you, that hot and cheesy thing melt in my mouth like anything! I didn’t realize when I savored the half big size pizza. It was so tempting that I didn’t want to waste my time in capturing photos of it,I took only 1-2 photos . After this experience, I never ever liked the pizza with toppings! During next few days in Italy, at many places I saw the pizza with this simple preparation only!
Pasta is a staple food of many Italian cuisines. Pasta in Italy is always served in small portions after the first appetizer. I am not a big pasta fan actually, but again the simplicity and purity of its preparing won my heart. It was so delicious and soft.
Then it was a turn of came Italian ice cream, Gelato. It is made with a base of milk, cream, and sugar, and flavoured with fruit and nut purees and other flavourings. Gelato ice-cream surprisingly arrived in a metal pot, which was something new for me. It was a basic Vanilla flavour ice-cream, but once again mind-blowing taste, super smooth and creamy. I enjoyed every bit and piece of it.
Over all, I felt like I am really having my dream lunch here. Everything was so perfect and enjoyable. I think if when you are on tour you should avoid the touristy restaurants and try local restaurants with authentic cuisines. Eating “like a local” can help you understand and appreciate a new culture better.