When we mention Italian food, it’s not wrong to think about the amazing cuisine that easily pleases most people. In any case, who doesn’t love pasta or pizza, or a plate of meat or veggies, the dishes that make up most of the traditional dishes in Italy? For centuries, Italy has offered amazing dishes everyone can love.
However, did you know that some Italian dishes have broken the limit and crossed over to the weird side? Yes, Italian cuisine has some strange dishes, and most of them are made from animal parts that are discarded in most countries. Well, let’s review some of these dishes.
Coda alla vaccinara
This cow tail dish is stewed for several hours in a spicy tomato sauce. By the time this dish is done cooking, the meat is super tender, to the extent that it easily detaches from the bone, after absorbing all the savory flavors from the sauce. The dish is found in most restaurants in Testaccio.
Pajata is back! Yes—after all those years of missing in the menus after the health restrictions enforced by the European Union after the famous Mad Cow Disease. But, what is pajata? Well, this is an Italian meal made from the intestines of veal that hasn’t been weaned from its mother. Their bellies are still full of milk, which makes the intestines cheesy and creamy when cooked. Veal can be served with grilled pajata arrosto or prepared with tomatoes and then served with rigatoni pasta.
Coratella is another Italian dish made from the inside parts of an animal. However, this dish is made from the insides of small animals like lamb and rabbit. This dish is most popular in Italian restaurants during the spring and Easter season, and it’s traditionally prepared with artichokes. The dish is also known as Coratella con Carciofi.
The Italian cuisine has some strange vegetables, which are hard to find in any other place. One of the favorite dishes is agretti, which is common during the spring season. This dish resembles thick grass and tastes amazing when slightly boiled, and then mixed with some olive oil and lemon juice. Cicoria or dandelion leaves is another vegetable dish that’s served in Italy all year round. Dandelion leaves grow like a weed in most countries, but the innovative Italian have turned it into a savory side dish. Also, the Italians have discovered another tasty and interesting way of eating flowers—Fiori di Zucca is a tasty vegetable dish made with zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella cheese and anchovy, and then fried.
Also known as maggot cheese, this milk cheese made out of Sardinian sheep is popular because of its rich and strong flavor. Casu Marzu is made following the pecorino style, and it has earned its special reputation because of the fly larvae found inside the cheese. Now, these tiny bugs eat and poop inside the cheese, and the end product is a soft and lump mass of cheese. And in case you are wondering where the larvae go, it’s still alive when consuming the cheese.
When you think of the perfect Italian dish, it includes pasta topped with freshly grated parmesan. However, you can try bottarga if you are searching for something more exciting. To make bottarga, an egg pouch of fish is first cured in sea salt until it turns into a dry, salty, and hard brownish log. Now, this is the substance grated on top of pasta. It can also be served on crostini, sprinkled with olive oil.
This is a charmingly rich dessert that resembles a thick chocolate pudding, but it has an extra amazing taste. Sanguinaccio Dolce is made out of chocolate, cream, sugar, and warm pork blood. Some optional add-ins include raisins, pine nuts, and other fruits. At times, the dessert can be thickened, turned into a log, and then sliced. Some chefs serve Sanguinaccio Dolce creamy with cookies for dipping. However, regardless of how it’s prepared, this dessert is sweet, but you have to forget the warm pork blood in the dessert.