Italy is the favorite country by gourmet travelers from around the world: this is the news that emerges from the latest report of the World Food Travel Association, which annually realizes the most authoritative study in the food & wine tourism field.
This study confirms the trend of recent years, in other words the Belpaese is on the wish list of the most selective travelers, who want to taste the specialties of the places they visit and don’t hesitate to spend money to enjoy a top food experience.
The report shows that for Chinese tourists Italy is the only food &and wine destination outside of the East and is the only foreign destination mentioned by US travelers.
The German tourists declare that our country is the top destination for foodies and report separately Tuscany (at fourth position in their preferences) and Rome (at the tenth position), as must-see places if you are passionate of high quality food and wine.
This research gives us a cue to recommend some places that should not be missed in a gourmet itinerary.
All 20 Italian regions boast delicious dishes, exclusive recipes, talented chef and sublime restaurants, so we present these 3 choices as an aperitif, hopefully tantalizing, to invite you to enjoy Italy without haste and to discover typical products.
Only those who have been in Liguria can say to have tried the authentic Genoese pesto, made with basil, salt, pine nuts and garlic, seasoned with Parmesan, pecorino cheese and extra virgin olive oil. The local basil is the main ingredient of this sauce, as the salty breeze brings a unique scent to its leaves, while preparing raw, crushed with a pestle in a marble mortar, and respects the original properties of the pesto.
The importance of this specialty is also confirmed by the Genoa Pesto World Championship, which takes place at the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa in April. To taste a fish based menu in a restaurant with sea view, we suggest Babette in Albenga, near Savona, situated on the beach, because it offers a view of the Gallinara Island and has a great seafood menu. Babette is located at Via Michelangelo Buonarroti 17.
Did you know that the area with the most starred restaurants in Italy is in the Dolomites? It may seem unusual, because the culinary traditions of Alta Badia (which includes the villages of Corvara, Colfosco, La Villa, San Cassiano, Badia and La Valle in South Tyrol) comes from the peasant culture and is based on simple and nutritious ingredients.
However, today the Alta Badia also stands for gourmet dishes and Ladin culture at its top, even at the St. Hubertus restaurant in San Cassiano, thanks to its tasting menu created by chef Norbert Niederkofler: risotto cooked on the wood stove, consommé with fatty liver canederli, lamb and venison fillet with mustard raspberries will make you appreciate even more the breathtaking scenery of the Dolomites.
Moreover, Cook the Mountains project enhances the seasonality of products and cultivation techniques that respect the environment. The restaurant is located at Strada Micurà De Ru, 20, in San Cassiano in Badia.
Sicily has always been a crossroads of cultures and culinary traditions. Remember the Greeks, who here led olives and grapes, the Arabs, who imported sugarcane, spices and oranges, the Spanish who brought tomatoes and chocolate.
Take a trip to Sicily is a must for foodie, they will delight with the typical street food (arancini, pane e panelle, among others) or a plate of pasta with sarde (bucatini pasta with sardines, fennel, pine nuts, and raisins), which, according to legend, was prepared for the first time in 827 by Admiral Eufemio da Messina, returned to the island from Tunisia.
Recently Sicily has been mentioned among the destinations to visit in 2016 for enogastronomy by National Geographic, a good excuse to organize a themed trip in the summer.
Among the most surprising starred restaurants in Sicily there is La Madia in Licata, in the province of Agrigento, where the chef Pino Cuttaia offers creative dishes and revisitations of Sicilian specialties with a special focus on fish.
The primacy won by Italy in food and wine tourism is prestigious and must be protected becoming gourmet travelers, an original way to appreciate the nuances of flavor of local genuine products.
Credits preview photo Paste con le sarde:Peter Jordan, Alamy