Hi there! Happy Wednesday!
In an effort to continue reliving my recent trip to Italy, and in honor of my favorite blogging tradition What I Ate Wednesday, I thought I’d take some time today to show you some of the fantastic food I enjoyed during my vacation.
Thanks to Jenn for hosting the What I Ate Wednesday linkup, as usual! It looks like Jenn is posting her vacation eats today too; I guess great minds think alike!
The best part about breakfast in Italy, hands-down, was the cappuccinos.
Fresh, frothy, and flavorful (how’d you like that alliteration, eh?) they were the perfect treat to get me going in the morning. If you’ve read this blog for a while now, you have probably seen that coffee is not normally something I drink often. I’d say I get a cup of coffee maybe once a month and really that’s only when I have a really important project at work and I need to crack down and focus. (I’m more of an unsweetened green tea person in the afternoons!)
On vacation however, I had one of these delicious cappuccinos nearly every morning! They were just too good not to!
The rest of breakfast wasn’t really that amazing in Italy; I don’t think Italians are really big on breakfast like Americans are. The buffets at our hotels had a good selection of deli meats, breads, tomatoes, and cheeses. There were also some questionable items like hot dogs (what?!) and fruit in an extra syrupy sauce. I was expecting there to be more fresh fruit honestly, but they usually just had apples and discolored bananas. Luckily, they did always have cereal and granola, which I definitely took advantage of.
None of my breakfasts were bad per se, but they just weren’t as good as my other meals in Italy.
Typical breakfast on vacation:
One morning we stopped for coffee at an outdoor cafe and Fabio and I ordered this lovely cup of cantaloupe. Yum! It was so sweet and flavorful. I definitely could have used some more of that during our standard hotel breakfasts!
We also ate a few croissants here and there, which were pretty tasty, but not as good as the ones I had in France a couple years ago (well, obviously).
My favorite part of our meals in Italy was easily the antipati!
Check out all those appetizers in that picture above!! From that picture you can also sort of get a sense of the gorgeous view from the restaurant we ate at. We didn’t even order any of those appetizers; they just brought them out for us to taste. So amazing.
Anyway, most restaurants that we visited had a basket of amazing Italian bread (so crusty and delicious) with the most flavorful olive oil. Seriously, I don’t know what my olive oil at home is made of, but it’s not this. This stuff was thick, luxurious, and actually had a nice olivey flavor! Who knew?
Some other restaurants included free snacks that they would set out on the table for us. Below you can see some fried mozzarella, rice balls, olives, and little mini wraps.
Oh, and potato chips. Sorta random, but maybe they are like a foreign delicacy there?
We also got this mixed plate of yumminess at one restaurant. I can’t remember what all we have here, but it was good!
And then there was this plate of Parmesan cheese with balsamic reduction. Yummm!
Lots of restaurants brought out complimentary bruschetta for the table. Yum!! Look how fresh those tomatoes are. I obviously took the opportunity to drizzle them with that fantastic olive oil before digging in 😉
Cheese-filled squash blossoms are also a tasty Italian tradition. They are kind of hard to describe, sort of a cheesy fried vegetable, but are really delicious.
One day Fabio got this prosciutto dish with fresh figs as his antipasto dish that was absolutely amazing. I can’t remember what my appetizer was, but I remember stealing many bites of his 😉
And there was a lot of caprese consumed, obviously.
My mom also ordered this fresh octopus salad one day as her antipasto, and it was great! It was really fresh and tasted like it had come right out of the sea. Yum! I don’t think I would normally have been daring enough to order this myself, but I was happy to share some of hers 😉
Another great food that we had in Italy was pasta, of course!
The one below I ordered at a little restaurant in Trastevere on our first day in Rome and I have to say it was one of my favorites. Something about the homemade pasta in Rome – the sauce, the chewy texture, the cheese – it just doesn’t taste the same in the States, even if you go to an authentic Italian restaurant. This simple pasta with a thick tomato sauce was awesome.
Another one of the favorite pastas I had on my trip was this one which was cooked in tinfoil with mussels and clams. Even though pasta with tomato sauce is usually pretty rich and heavy, this one was surprisingly fresh and light! I absolutely loved it.
This next pasta used the traditional spiral Roman noodles (I forget the name of them!!) with eggplant and tomato sauce. I am not usually a huge fan of eggplant (though I am trying to change my mind) but this one was delicious!!
Oh come on, you knew that had to be coming, right?
Yes the pizza in Italy was awesome. Some people don’t like pizza from Italy, but the trick is not to order the Roman pizza (which is sort of like a cold pizza sandwich) but to order the Neapolitan style pizza, which is what we Americans are more used to.
The pizza below was from a cute restaurant in Campo di Fiori called Sloppy Sam’s (which made me miss Sloppytown, of course!) and it had a delicious thin crust with yummy cherry tomatoes.
The next one was from that same place in Trastevere that had the really good pasta. Fabio ordered this pizza, but was nice enough to share some with me 🙂 What a keeper, I tell ‘ya.
And lastly, my favorite pizza of the trip, this baby came right from a little spot in the Amalfi town square. It’s hard to tell from the dark photo, but it was really good with a big crust. Although I like a good thin crust pizza, thick crust just steals my heart! Check out that bubbly cheeeeeese!
Yummmm. Pizza is the best.
I have to admit I did not eat too much dessert in Italy. I had gelato a few times (pistachio, nutella, and, surprisingly my favorite, lemon!) and only one tiramisu.
I know, I know, it was crazy.
But at least the one I had was really delicious.
My mom also tried this dessert called lemon delicious (ha- creative name) which was, as the name suggests, delicious. It was native dessert to the Amalfi Coast and Naples, so we sampled it a few different times on vacation. It was really good, but I liked the lemon gelato better 😉
And that concludes my WIAW in Italy!
Oh, unless you want to count this yummy donut I ate at the airport on the way home…
Now that you’ve seen all the tons and tons of carbs that I ate on vacation, you will probably understand that I have been veggie-loading all week and packed in a tight workout schedule. So far, so good! I gotta recuperate from all that junk!
Question of the day: What’s your favorite thing to eat on vacation?