The meeting between Made in Italy regional cuisine and street food (Part 1)
Not just luxury. Excellent Italian food is not a prerogative of award-winning starred restaurants. In fact, tourists are increasingly stopping to enjoy the goodness of Italian street food between a break and another of their travel itinerary in Italy. The passion for Street Food is growing all over the globe but even in this case, it is to be expected, “Italians do it better”. So let’s go to the discovery of the best street food in a search that goes through the whole “Boot shape”, starting from northern Italy. Start here our journey into the world of Italian street food.
Street Food Italia: the best street food to taste in the North
Here more than “street food” it’s good to talk about “path food”. The endless green spaces and the immensity of the most beautiful mountains in Italy frame the typical dishes of the Val D’Aosta, which can be enjoyed comfortably between a walk and another as food Street Food.
Bread, honey and lard. One of the must of Street Food Aosta Valley. Impossible to resist this pungent mountain taste, with a touch of sweetness. At Chiosco, the excellent Street Food venue, the sandwiches with lardo and fontina are available starting from just € 4.
Lean cured meat, cut into thin slices, almost transparent, and served with a drizzle of honey, accompanied by bread, butter and a glass of wine.
ham of saint Marcel
A raw ham flavoured with mountain herbs, so as to obtain a richer and more pleasant taste. Alone or accompanied with bread, it is one of the most appreciated Italian street food by tourists.
Ham of saint Rhemy and Bousses
A PDO brand product, produced in the heart of Valle D’Aosta. The extremely precious flavour has earned it the appellation of the prince of the Valdostan delicatessen. Mandatory stop at the Prosciutteria sous le Pont de Bousses.
Round and flat biscuits, excellent to munch, made simply with almonds, hazelnuts, butter, egg white and flour.
TRENTINO ALTO ADIGE
Perhaps not everyone knows that Trentino is one of the regions with the greatest traditions of street cooking. Street Food here is at home, with lots of sweet and savory “whims”.
The classic German-style “donut” is ideal for warming the stomach on cold winter afternoons, looking for the right gift among the typical Christmas markets in Trentino. There is a variant that is becoming even more famous: the kirchtagskrapfen, fried ravioli filled with apricot jam and poppy seeds.
After those of Christmas, come the classic carnival sweets: a dough made with flour, eggs, sugar, butter and grappa strictly from Trentino. Fried or baked, the grostoi of Varignano literally drive fans of Street Food Italy crazy, especially if accompanied by an excellent vin brulé.
Continuing on the theme of “sweet”, we find these donuts, a symbol of tradition: originally they were a wedding gift or the gift that godparents and godmothers made to their godparents as a symbol of good wishes. Today at the Bakery Zanetel you can enjoy them quick, freshly baked.
In the roundup of things dedicated to the best Trentino street food could ever miss the apple fritters? Here they are, served hot with a good dusting of powdered sugar or accompanied with cream and cinnamon or vanilla sauce. From the tree to the pan, from the producer to the consumer.
The name is piece of art! The German word means “curly, tortuous”, and this is how this sweet South Tyrolean charm is presented: a mixture of many tangled vermicelli, garnished with powdered sugar or combined with blueberry jam.
To satisfy all palates, the Street Food Trentino also includes the part dedicated to salty. This is the “farmer’s toast”: a simple and rustic snack that goes well with the “new” tradition of Italian street food. In the classic version it looks like a rye sandwich flavoured with various spices (aniseed, cumin or trigonella) and stuffed with speck and mountain cheese. But you can combine the most endless variations, depending on your tastes.
Tortel de patate
Venturing along the streets of Trento more and more often happens to run into fragrant straw paper wraps that surround the most classic of Italian savoury patties: the one made with potatoes. No light baking in the oven for this delicious street food, but a “fat” and tasty spread in a pan filled with oil.
Quiet, calm, we have not forgotten: here is the king of the Street Food of Trentino Alto Adige. You can choose from many varieties: from Meraner (prepared with mixed beef and pork and spiced) to Weisswurst (white, not smoked). In the kiosk in Piazza delle Erbe, in Bolzano, the wurstel is served alone, with the braided bread , brezel, separately, or directly in the sandwich with different sauces.
Even Veneto defends itself well in the hypothetical ranking of the richest regions of ideas for Street Food Italy.
Scartosso of fried fish
One of the oldest Italian street food is sold daily at the corners of the Venetian streets. Venice. The classic fish fry was prepared as early as 1600. Little has changed since then: the fried of lagoon is still the most loved Venetian street food. Calamari, schie, acquadelle, sarde, sardine, shrimp, sole, shrimp, trigliette and vegetables await you a hot and fried at Vecio Fritolin.
Puccia or cortina bread
Mix of soft wheat flour and rye flour, with the addition of cumin seeds, fennel seeds and zigoinr, a particular wild oregano from the Ampezzo area. Great to eat warm and accompanied by cheeses.
One of the most famous typical Venetian dishes presents its street food version. The taste is that of tradition, the way to eat it is typically modern: a quick bite between one commitment and another, without sacrificing goodness.
If the aperitif in Milan becomes a happy hour with spritz and various snacks, in Venice the alternative consists of a plate filled with meatballs, croutons with salt cod, sardines in saor, anchovies, folpeti, cold cuts, half eggs and much more . Small talks, wine and a delicious snack after a long day at work.
Red radish PGI
There are many ways to cook this street food from the Veneto , typical of Treviso: fried, grilled, baked, or the classic way, roots and fasio. Good, practical and fast: a perfect example of street food.
Used to season pizza or nibble around the street, these filaments of meat held in salt, smoked and beaten are loved by the Veneto and intrigue tourists around Rovigo.
Among the traditional Venetian dishes you cannot miss the polenta, in this case cooked with a bean soup, roasted and sliced. Wrapped and served warm in winter walks, overlooking the Dolomites.
Juliet and Romeo Kisses
We cannot move from the Veneto region without having first made a stop under the most famous balcony in the world. The two Veronese lovers have not had time to exchange many kisses and those missed kisses have become delicious sweets of almonds and hazelnuts, symbol of an eternal love, and very sweet.
FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA
From the sweet to the salty, street food fashion has also infected the Italian Far East.
Strucchi and gubanette
Typical sweets of Udine, made with raisins, chopped hazelnuts, pine nuts and walnuts to be tasted absolutely at the Pasticceria Gelateria Ducale. A quick stop and away, towards new adventures in Friuli.
The king of Street Food in Trieste is a rolled cake, similar to a donut stuffed with dried fruit. The bora in her hair and the view on one of the most beautiful cities in Italy: perfect scenography and perfect food. That’s all folks!
Buffet (or spacéti)
Literally small shops. Places where you can eat something at any time, feeling like one of those merchants who crowded the port of Trieste smart and hungry. So here is a series of gluttony from Friuli, food for the eyes and stomach: cotechino, zampone, pancetta, carré, tongue, luganeghe, wurstel, legs, head, sandwiches, canapés, creamed cod, fish fritters. Did you not have a light languor?
Born as a typical dish of the Friulian tradition in a family environment, it is now served on the street, in little basins with forks. What’s this? Cheese cooked in a pan with butter and lard. You can choose between the friable one made with the montasio, which recalls a galletta or the soft one with the addition of potatoes (and maybe onions or apples or herbs or bacon or leek). A “walk” of health, in every sense possible.
The basic dough of bread in all possible variations and with every conceivable condiment. Street food in Emilia Romagna does not excite hunger, it satisfies it.
Crescentina modenese o tigella
In Modena there is no known tradition of cooking this typical flat and round bread, cooked on the grill thanks to the homonymous clay disc. To eat walking, stuffed with the traditional cunza (a mixture of lard, rosemary and garlic) or, to say it, with meats and cheeses.
Who says Romagna, says piadina. On the contrary, piadina with Squacquerone pdo, rocket and ham. Whether it is thin or thick, depending on the area, the best street food of Romagna is the most consumed frugal meal even outside the regional borders. Street food, but also last-minute cuisine.
Fried cake or fried or crescentine dumpling
This example of emilian street food is so widespread and typical to be known by three different names. Strictly fried in plenty of oil, it is created from a very simple mixture: flour, baking powder, water and salt, cut into squares. Guess what’s being accompanied? Exactly, cured meats, cold cuts and still salami.
Also called scarpasòun, this meatloaf lying on a base of pasta contains practically everything: beets, spinach, eggs, shallots, onion, garlic and Parmesan. Take a breath and taste.
In spite of its not particularly inviting name, this savoury pie with artichokes and cheese is literally drives crazy customers who flock to Pepén. Strong taste, but guaranteed success.
Let’s talk about Piacenza street food: a small traditional sandwich cooked on the stove or on the wood-burning oven plate. The name derives from the beating to which the mixture based on flour and corn flour is subjected. Obviously it should be stuffed, preferably with cured ham and gorgonzola. No sandwich remain empty too long in Emilia Romagna.
Piedmontese street food tells of a past of history and roots, with endangered recipes revisited by street food, so as not to disappear from the regional culinary tradition.
Flour, eggs, milk and iron: a special tool used since the fifteenth century, long before the French invented the pan to make crepes. Thin, crisp and without salt. In the street food variant you can choose whether to eat them naturally, stuffed with salignun, fresh cheese flavoured with chilli, or with gorgonzola, toma, various types of salami, jams, honey, blueberry jam and cream, butter, Nutella.
Two “lips” of hazelnut paste joined by a layer of chocolate gianduia. A dessert that is eaten in a bite and fills the heart. Yes, even the belly, unfortunately.
The typical biscuits of Casale Monferrato inspired by the mustaches of King Vittorio Emanuele II are beloved by the Piedmontese, but also by tourists. Perfect to be dipped in milk when you have a cup, excellent to munch on a ride in the characteristic Italian citadel.
Among the typical dishes of the Piedmontese street cuisine there is the farinata (chickpea flour, water, salt and extra virgin olive oil). How do we serve? The name says it: “beautiful hot”.
Contrary to what one might imagine, the Ligurian street food is not based on the products of the sea but on those of the hinterland: simple and traditional raw materials that become excellent Italian street food.
The basis of this dough is based on the recipe that for centuries has handed down the Ligurian cuisine: chickpea flour, salt and water. What really matters here is the characteristic mold (testo) in which everything is poured before making a stop in the oven and then served in irregular pieces. The most pleasant seasonings: onion or oil and lemon.
A thin sheet filled with rice, zucchini and herbs like chard, which change according to the season. At the Ostaja San Vincenzo, in Genoa, it is said that there is the best in the city. The vegeterians will really appreciate this example of Ligurian street food.
The historic Genoese focaccia can be found in many variations with cheese, tomato, olives, garlic and onion. A street food that has become a real cult. It has all the desired features: it is thin, slightly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The Ligurians eat that of the Bakery Mario even at breakfast, dipped in milk.
Focaccia di Recco
This Italian street food comes from the nineteenth century and consists of two very thin layers of unleavened dough. The real strong point is the stuffing of prescinseua or, much more often, of stracchino or crescenza of Ligurian origin. In the oven the magic happens: the cheese melts with the dough to form a unique product that is so delicious that it deserves the name PGI.
They end our journey along the roads of Liguria, these round battered pancakes with thinly sliced herbs. One leads to another, while under the eyes flows the image of one of the most beautiful landscapes in Northern Italy.
Time is money. Lombard street food is designed to accompany the hectic pace of the work of the big cities: frugal but delicious meals.
The Milanese you know, are great savers, and just from the parsimony of the Lombard people were born these meatballs made with the remains of braised or boiled beef. Everything is minced together with sausage, mortadella and stale bread softened in milk. An egg and a pinch of spices. And so, a dip in butter: cholesterol , I don’t fear you!
With the first cold, the kiosks that offer this Italian street food sprout like mushrooms, indeed, like chestnuts. The street vendors flock to Piazza Duomo to propose cones filled with roasted chestnuts to tourists and passers-by. Obviously they can be found everywhere, because chestnuts are widespread throughout the Italian territory. More than a fashion, a real institution.
Greasy morsels of Casera cheese fried in a thin batter made from buckwheat. In Valtellina they are one of the most popular street food, served in the comfortable walking cone. Easy to say, in Milan, the capital of fashion, we talk about sciatt à porter.
The journey through Italy of street food does not end here: in Part 2 we will taste together the best Street Food of the central regions.