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5 Dishes to Try on Your Trip to Naples

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Spaghetti alla Nerano, made with fried zucchini and provolone del monaco DOP

Spaghetti alla Nerano, made with Zucchini and Provolone del Monaco

The cuisine of Naples has ancient roots and humble origins that have inspired the creative recipes of present-day Neapolitan gastronomy that you can enjoy during your Italy trip. The city’s cuisine continues to typify the culinary traditions of Campania, with heritage predating Rome and reflecting the former Kingdom of Naples. With a culinary style that celebrates the soil, arid climate, the boldness of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the importance of cucina povera, Neapolitan cuisine still focuses on using every aspect of an ingredient before adding herbs and spices to create the most vibrant flavor.

1. Pizza

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

Naples is also the birthplace of contemporary pizza. Pizza represents the province’s flavorful history and ties to local ingredients cultivated from the land and enhanced by the volcanic soil and the abundant Mediterranean sunlight. While flatbreads and bread covered with toppings is a dish dating back to ancient Sardinia and 6th-century Greeks, a restaurant owner invented pizza as we know it in 1889 to honor the Queen Margherita of Savoy.

2. Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP

Mozzarella di Bufala

Mozzarella di Bufala

Mozzarella di Bufala is a soft cheese with a texture ranging from creamy and smooth to springy. The floral and mildly sour flavor stems from the milk of the Agerola cow coupled with the fresh aroma. Mozzarella di Buffala is guarded under the European regulations of the Denominazione di Origine Protetta that certifies the product is cultivated and produced around Naples and Campania. The cheese is used in anti-pasta dishes like salads or with pasta, calzones, and vegetables for a robust flavor you can experience.

3. Provolone del Monaco DOP

Provolone del Monaco DOP

Provolone del Monaco DOP. Photo by Ago Press, distributed under cc-by 2.0 license

Provolone del Monaco is a semi-hard cow’s cheese with a firm, grainy texture. The flavor of Provolone del Monaco cheese ranges from buttery and mild to sharp and spicy but can also have a sweet, tangy taste dependent upon the maturing process. The Denominazione di Origine Protetta ensures the quality and heritage of the cheese, which has been produced around Naples province since the 18th century so you can sample the taste, history, and culture surrounding the cheese itself.

4. Samurchio

This cured meat of Naples Province has a tradition more than 200 years old stemming from a heritage of ancient festival cuisine. The cured meat stemmed from economic instability, with producers utilizing their available resources by cooking the cow and pig with spices like chili peppers and black pepper to mask any unpleasant flavors. Adding the sifting process to the recipe minimized the need to include coagulating or preserved blood into the casing for a softer and more enticing flavor.

5. Neapolitan Ragú

Neapolitan Ragú

Neapolitan Ragú

Neapolitan Ragú is a sauce made from combining different meats into a single pot while simmered in tomato sauce. The legend of the sauce dates back to the 14th century, but tomatoes were not introduced into the dish until after the 16th century when the produce arrived from the New World. Neapolitan Ragú is a heavy, meaty sauce that tops seasoned pasta. Types of meat inside the sauce include low cuts of beef and pork. The sauce generally cooks for at least six hours in a copper pan and is stirred with a wooden spoon that you can sample or learn how to make during your Italy trip.

How to Plan your Vacation to Naples

Naples, Italy

Naples, Italy

Naples is known for its food culture that celebrates its cuisine as an overall experience, with ancient heritage and bold flavors. The natural volcanic soils of the region support the delicious ingredients to create an exceptional food culture that captivates your senses. Find inspiration for your trip with Zicasso’s Italy Travel Guide. Eager to enjoy an Italian food tour? You can speak with an Italy travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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