Weird Italian Dishes
By: Liz Flynn
While the use of fresh, local and seasonal ingredients is synonymous with Italian cuisine, some of the ingredients they include in their dishes may surprise you. For instance, the Italians have a love of offal, and this is not a preference shared in all countries. Here are some of the strangest Italian foods.
At one time, this dish was banned under EU health and safety regulations. However, it has now returned on many Italian menus. It is the intestines of veal that have not been weaned from their mothers. Therefore, the intestines are still full of milk. When the intestines are cooked, the milk becomes like a creamy cheese.
2. Coda alla Vaccinara
In most cultures, there are many parts of an animal that are simply discarded, such as the tail of the cow. The Italians have a ‘waste not, want not’ attitude towards food. In this dish, the cow’s tail is cooked slowly in a tomato sauce until it is falling off the bone and has absorbed the flavors of the sauce.
Tripe is one of those foods that you will either love or hate. It is quite a popular ingredient in Italy and each region serves it in a different way. For example, it is cooked in a tomato sauce in Rome while in Florence, tripe is served with a white sauce.
Made from the intestines and offal of rabbits, you are most likely to see this dish on the menu in spring. It is often served with artichokes.
5. Sanguinaccio Dolce
You may initially think that the combination of cream and chocolate is the perfect combination. However, there is another ingredient that you may find less appealing. Pigs blood is added to the concoction while it is still warm.
6. Pani ca Meusa
Pani ca meusa is a popular street food in Sicily. The bread is flavored with sesame oil before adding some rather unusual filings. Boiled and then fried veal spleen and lungs are stuffed into the bread and some people add caciocavallo cheese.
7. Casu Marzu
When your cheese gets past its shelf life, you probably throw it away. However, casu marzu is a rotten cheese that is a delicacy in Sicily.
8. Cervella Fritti
These are calf, lamb or veal brains fried in batter and oil. Most people add lemon and black pepper before eating.