05 Aug The Italian gastronomic destinations
The Fork restaurant reservations website and app has identified the gastronomic destinations for summer 2019. Here are those chosen for the summer holidays, based on the highest amount of reservations the restaurants get through the platform. This is where tourists like to vacation in the summer, and not just to swim in the sea and lay on the beach, but also to taste the specialties of the place.
In this ranking, Southern Italy is the master, and couldn’t be otherwise given the wonderful places and the mouth-watering cuisine.
The typical cuisine of the Sorrento area is characterised by simple dishes based on high quality ingredients produced in the area. Oil, tomatoes, mozzarella and spices make up the cannelloni (once called “strascinate”). Also, the stuffed peppers, known locally as the “puparuol mbuttunat”, are an absolute must. Another typical product is lemons, to be enjoyed both fresh and in the local limoncello liqueur.
The refined cuisine of Matera, the city of Rocks, this year the European Capital of Culture 2019, belongs to a very ancient tradition. The local gastronomy is mainly based on legumes, meats and cheeses, not counting the famous Matera bread and the well-known crusco pepper.
In all of Sicily, the area of Trapani is the one most affected by foreign contaminations, especially Arabic ones. The cuisine of the place is mainly based on fish; the tuna traps of this Sicilian area are famous, and so is the cous cous, which is naturally fish based and usually spicy.
The roots of Syracuse’s cuisine date back to the Greek era. However, not many know that Syracuse is considered the home of what was the first cooking school in the Occidental world. The fish, often cooked in the form of soup, is certainly the master of the local gastronomy.
The cuisine of Agrigento combines both a marine tradition, like that of the Pelagie Islands (Lampedusa and Linosa) and a more mountainous tradition, like that of the Sicani Mountains. This dual nature makes both meats and fish very present in the area. A delicious dish typical of this area is the pistachio couscous.
Sicilian cuisine offers a great variety, a result of the combination and intertwining of all the cultures that have lived there over the centuries. Culinary specialties are often based on swordfish, sardines, capers, chilli and almonds. Speaking of almonds, one of the typical specialties of Taormina is almond wine, an ancient recipe that combines catarratto grapes, aromatic herbs, almonds and citrus essences.
Th Sardinian culinary art is a perfect mix of innovation, creativity and respect for tradition. There is no lack for raw materials, including cheeses, cold cuts, mixed seafood and shellfish. One must definitely try the Seadas with honey and the Culurgiones, a fresh pasta stuffed with potatoes and mint, similar to ravioli, which you can also find in Olbia, the top destination of the summer for the nearby Costa Smeralda.
The city of Alghero is rich in ancient traditions and is known for its sensational landscapes and its beaches. The local cuisine comes from a fusion with the Catalan cuisine. A typical product of this area is the Anghelo Ruju, a garnet red coloured fortified wine made from cannonau grapes that have been dried in the sun for 15 to 20 days.
Do not miss the delightful Positano, one of the most beautiful towns on the Amalfi Coast. Lemons are undoubtedly the characteristic element of these areas, with their terraced cultivations sites known as “gardens”. This town offers many culinary specialties, from fish to fruits and vegetables.
The cuisine of Gallipoli partly reflects the typical Salento cuisine, based on poor and peasant ingredients, with a predominance of vegetables and legumes. An example of their so called ‘poor cuisine’ is certainly the “scapece”, an ancient recipe that dates back to times when the people of Gallipoli often faced hunger and sought ways to preserve the fish. This resulted in a dish composed of a small fish (boghes or picarels for example) fried and then placed in vats to marinate inside saffron and vinegar-soaked breadcrumbs. A delicacy that must be tried.