“For Italy I would have to say one of the most often utilized foods (in one way or another) would be the tomato! Eaten fresh or prepared in one of the many sauces, the tomato is shown to have many health benefits because it contains the anti-oxidant Lycopene. Lycopene helps fight against cancerous cell formations as well as other diseases. High levels of Lycopene have shown to flush out free radicals.” ~Annie D.
“I went to Italy awhile ago with my family. One meal that I very vividly remember was when we had pizza. Everyone got their own but it was on this really delicious crusty bread (nowhere near as oily as we get in the states). Most of the pizzas didn’t have any sauce, or had a very light sauce. Plus, almost all of their toppings were vegetables or homemade sausages. It was a completely different pizza experience.
I also remember eating a lot of fish because we lived in a coastal town while we were there. I never used to like white fish, but it was so fresh there that it practically melted in your mouth and didn’t have that fishy taste. I think it has a lot to do with never being frozen.
Lastly, we walked everywhere. You could get to almost anywhere in the town with a 20 minute walk; and the market seemed like it was 5 minutes from everywhere.” ~Maria B.
“In Italy I definitely loved the fresh mozzarella served with tomato slices and drizzled with olive oil. One of our favourite restaurants was this little mom and pop place we stumbled upon when we got lost in Venice – we don’t even know the name. But Italy has the best spaghetti with meat sauce I’ve ever tasted.” ~Stefani K.
“The unhealthy food starts and ends with gelati. Technically it can be healthy with it’s fresh fruit and made from yogurt, but the amount I ate made it very unhealthy. Also, the size of each meal was just huge.” ~Amanda G.
“We did a tour of Italy so we went to Rome, Venice and Florence then stopped at places on the way like Pisa and Verona. Each place had their own food, but everywhere in Italy had amazing food. They tried to be nice to the Americans and gave us lunch meat, fruit and hard boiled eggs for breakfast. None of the Italians ate breakfast. They ate a big lunch and then dinner was more of a social event with lots of wine. We ate a lot of lasagna type meals. The healthiest one was probably a spinach lasagna I remember we had in Venice. I was a little scared at first because everything was green (the pasta, cheese, everything was made with spinach, not your typical American lasagna) but it was really good! Chicken and veal were the meats we ate, not really any beef. All the food you could tell was very freshly prepared. We ate at a winery in Florence and it took at least 2 hours for our food to come out but everything was fresh from the vegetables to the herbs. Nothing was processed. They had musicians, dancing and singing and the wine flowing at every meal so every meal was like a show.” ~Emily K.
Have you ever visited Italy? What were your thoughts and impressions on the Italian food and culture?
Thank you so much to this week’s contributors: Annie D., Maria B.(not pictured), Stefani K., Amanda G., and Emily K!!