Italy is considered the land of good food: everyone has eaten pizza, pasta or lasagne at least once in their lifetime. If you have ever been to Italy, you’ll know a lot of delicious recipes, but among the various Italian regional recipes, there are some “peculiar” ones. In this article we’ll talk about the 6 weirdest and unusual Italian foods: let’s see if you know them! And, if you are squeamish, keep a puke bucket nearby… just in case!
The most unusual Italian foods (and disgusting)
6. Le LUMACHE (escargots):
these pretty animals a little slimy have been cooked since prehistory and still now, especially in France, but also in some northern regions of Italy, as well as in Lazio and Umbria. They’re cooked in different ways: stewed, fried, à la Bourguignonne, with tomato sauce… Well, they’re very versatile. Would you try them? Many people have tasted them and they say they’re delicious…
5. La MEUSA:
if you have ever tried street food in Palermo, you can’t have missed the so-called “pani cà meusa”, literally “spleen sandwich”: it’s a sandwich sprinkled with sesame and filled with calf’s spleen and lung, boiled and then sautéed in lard. Well, not exactly a light snack! Despite that, many Sicilians adore it!
4. Il CIBREO:
a typical main course of Florentine cuisine, loved by Caterina de’ Medici, the queen consort of France during the 16th century. It’s a sort of soup made with eggs, meat broth, onions and sage, with chicken’s livers, crests, wattles and hearts. What a delicacy!… It seems that the Medici were not so refined…
3. La PAJATA ROMANA:
a typical dish from Lazio, the Marche and Umbria. The term “pajata”in Roman means the calf’s small intestine, used especially to cook the “rigatoni con la pajata”, a traditional first course in Central Italy.
2. Il SANGUINACCIO (black pudding):
a tipycal dish of every Italian region, each one with their own variation. It is a sausage made with offal and pig’s blood, similar to German Blutwurst. Actually, there’s another dish with the same name but completely different: that’s the “sanguinaccio dolce” (sweet black pudding), a spicy cream made with dark chocolate, cocoa and cinnamon, prepared in many Italian regions for Carnival. The name “sanguinaccio” makes sense: in fact, originally, this cream was made with pig’s blood too!
1. Il CASU MARZU:
literally, it means “formaggio marcio” (rotten cheese): it’s a typical Sardinian food made with a cheese, usually pecorino or caprino, that contains live insect larvae of the cheese fly Piophila casei. Basically, it’s a cheese with maggots! European Union has forbidden its production and sale, so you won’t find it in supermarkets.
These are the 6 foods that, in our opinion, are the strangest (and we’d say also a little disgusting) of Italian culinary tradition! Let us know in the comments if in your country there are similar dishes… Students often say that some foods exist also in their countries, but with different names!
Now, if you want to see something truly delicious, we suggest that you watch the video where I prepare the parmigiana di melanzane (eggplant parmesan) with my mother! It’s a funny video, don’t miss it: How to Make Eggplant Parmesan (recipe).