I am a self-confessed foodie who has been lucky enough to visit quite a few of our neighbouring European friends. I have tasted tiny food from Spain, AKA Tapas; I have enjoyed the delicacies of Estonia; and I have even tried the infamous snails of France. But only one country has ruled my taste buds and left me begging for more…Italy! Other European countries have amazing food, but the three Ps are all you need: Pizza, Pasta, and Profiteroles.
I’m sure the majority of students will agree with me in saying that Pizza is heavenly food, put on this Earth to get us through stressful nights at the library, and to help cure the hangovers. Pizza is just one of those foods that satisfies people, whether it’s fat and greasy and takes approximately 37 minutes to get to your front door, or whether it’s crispy thin, covered in fresh salad and served on a wooden chopping board.
When I visited Rome and Pisa, I ordered the ‘Prosciutto Pizza,’ one of the most basic pizzas on the menu, to see if it was truly different on the continent. It was. The thin base, the crispy prosciutto ham, the little dobs of mozzarella and oregano, made my mouth water and my endorphins sore. Pizza may sound like an easy answer and a simple option for the ‘best European cuisine’, but it is simply the best.
Pasta is one of those solid foods that you can’t really get wrong, and will always fill you up. It can be one of the most simple dishes you can make and eat, or it can be an explosion of Italian flavours. Pasta is also an essential for the student lifestyle, especially if you cook in bulk and fill your cupboards with tupperware towers of it.
The strangest, yet tastiest pasta I have tried was of course in Pisa. Luckily, my Uncle Brett lived in Italy in his 20s and was able to speak fluent Italian and is the type of guy who always finds the quirkiest little restaurants. We ended up in the ‘Secret Garden,’ where Brett ordered Squid Ink Pasta. It sounded weird, looked odd, but tasted out of this world! This is a must-try for anyone looking to mature their pallet, impress their friends, and embrace their Italian cooking skills.
I’m pretty sure everyone has tried profiteroles at some point in their life. They are creamy puff pastry balls of yummy goodness, and are usually found at kids birthday parties or on dessert menus. Some people say profiteroles are from France, others say they are from Italy, and for the sake of my argument they are 100% Italian!
Profiteroles remind me of my childhood and are one of the tastiest bite sized treats. They have become one of Italy’s dessert champions, especially when they are smothered in chocolate. The small but mighty profiteroles are the perfect dessert to end a perfect Italian meal.
Every element of Italian cuisine has been carefully sought after, and every ingredient is oozing flavour. Pizza, Pasta, and Profiteroles are literally just a mouthful of what Italian food has to offer. Bruschetta, olives, salami, cappellini, gnocchi, carbonara and tirasmisu are just a few of my favourite things! (Please read that last bit with the sound of music tune).
So next time you’re wondering what to eat or cook, try making your own pizza or play around with the various pasta pestos and toppings. It’s simple, it’s yummy, and it’s molto bene!
Andiamo a mangiare!