Our 2016 culinary tour of Italy proved so popular we’re coming back bigger and better for this year! Each month we’re featuring a different region as our team of chefs bring you the very best an area has to offer as we travel from north to south.
And in addition, Dario, our knowledgeable sommelier, will also be matching wines with the regional specialties.
Maurizio Mori, Nonnas proprietor, said: “We had such a brilliant response last year we decided to do it again and introduce new areas and cuisine. It truly gives our customers a chance to enjoy Italian cuisine culture like never before.”
Here’s what you’ve got to look forward to over the coming months:
January – Trentino Alto Adige:
Trentino Alto Adige is situated in the very north of Italy bordering Austria and Switzerland, and is best known for the beauty of its peak. Trentino Alto Adige cooking draws as heavily from its Germanic roots as it does from its Italian heritage. Over many years, the residents of this autonomous region in Italy have created a unique blend of the two cuisines with many hearty and popular dishes.
February – Friuli Venezia Giulia:
Friuli Venezia Giulia is situated in Italy’s northeast and borders Slovenia and Austria.
This region overlooks the Adriatic Sea and is surrounded by high mountains, enclosing many different landscapes. Friuli Venezia Giulia cooking is known as a mix of Fruilian peasant fare, sophisticated Venetian food and influence from the Slavic and Austrian cultures. Despite these vastly different styles of cooking, this region manages to merge them successfully.
March – Lombardy:
Lombardy (Lombradia) lies in the north of the country, sharing a border with Switzerland.
Stretching from the Alps to the lowlands of the Po Valley, it is home to a wide range of landscapes, including the breath-taking mountain chain that boasts the Valchiavenna, Valtellina and the Camonica Valley. Lombardia cuisine has roots in many different cultures, resulting in extravagant dishes. Lombardia cooking traditionally uses generous amounts of butter, cream and lard, but recently has been converting recipes to olive oil. The first food to come to mind for most people is the decadent risotto alla Milanese.
April – Veneto:
Situated in Italy’s northeast, Veneto extends from the Dolomites to the Adriatic Sea, by way of an expansive range of hills and a valley furrowed by rivers, canals and the Po River Delta. Veneto cooking has influences from around the world. The dishes are known as exotic and exciting by many. From seafood and livestock to produce from lush gardens, the Veneto cuisine is widely varied.
May – Emilia Romagna:
Emilia Romagna lies between the River Po to its north and the Apennine Mountains to its south. It is one of the most fertile and productive regions of Italy. Foreigners thinking of luxurious Italian food usually think of classic Emilia Romagna cuisine. The land of plenty is known for its flavorful produce dishes. Bright green asparagus is served with Parmigiano Reggiano and melted butter. Pasta is also a favourite food in the region.
June – Tuscany:
Tuscany is located in central Italy and stretches from the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the spiritual home of Nonnas. Food in the Tuscany region of Italy has been defined by its elegant simplicity for millennia. Their expectations for quality food are very high. Rather than create overly complex dishes with exotic ingredients, Tuscans expect to eat produce that is locally grown, in season and at the peak of ripeness.
July – The Marches:
The Marches is mostly comprised of hills and mountains; the region embraces the Adriatic side of the Umbria-Marche Appennines, yet in contrast features low-lying, sandy beaches. Marche’s location is ideal for fresh seafood and harvesting food from the land. Marche cuisine makes use of the best of each in their dishes. While Marche recipes use the ever present pecorino cheese, olive oil and unsalted bread, they are also influenced by other local regions. Emilia Romagna’s fresh pasta and preserved pork products are found here.
August – Abruzzo:
Abruzzo is located in central Italy and stretches from the heart of the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea, on a mostly mountainous and wild terrain. The Abruzzi cuisine is known for hearty meals. The most famous expression of their love for good food is the annual festival called La Panarda. A typical meal prepared in Abruzzi will feature the diavolicchio, a triad of olive oil, tomatoes and chili peppers. Abruzzi recipes are often highly spiced with chili peppers, typical for much of Southern Italy.
September – Molise:
Molise is situated in south-central Italy and lies between the Apennine ridge and the Adriatic Sea. Nature, history, art, age-old traditions and good food are the treasures of this still largely-undiscovered region. In 1970, Abruzzi and Molise split apart, creating Italy’s newest region. Formerly ruled by Sicily, Molise cuisine strongly reflects this influence. Like Abruzzi, Molise recipes often contain hot peppers affectionately referred to as diavolino, or “little devil”.
October – Basilicata:
Basilicata is embedded between Calabria and Apulia, in the south of Italy. Even though it is a mainly internal region, Basilicata touches two seas: the Ionian and Tyrrhenian. Like many of its neighbouring regions, Basilicata cooking is made from a few simple, high quality ingredients. Mutton and lamb are the favourite meats in Basilicata cuisine.
November – Calabria:
Calabria is at the toe of the boot, the extreme south of Italy – lapped by the splendid crystal blue Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas and separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina. The warm climate, the beautiful colours of the sea, the strong and genuine flavours of local food and the vestiges of its ancient origins make Calabria a unique place that vacationers can enjoy in both winter and summer. Calabrian cuisine is known for hearty vegetable and pasta dishes and filling soups. Many of these meals feature eggplants, peppers and tomatoes.