Top 10 Weirdest Italian Snacks - The Queer Side Of Italian Cuisine
It is hard to find a person who does not like Italian food and considering the popularity of this cuisine, one would surely not expect Italy to feature on the weirdest food guide list. However, Italy has a fair share of recipes that purely classify as weird or bizarre, and to introduce you to this unexplored side of Italian food I present to you the “Top 10 weirdest Italian snacks that you might ever get to eat.”
1. Vending machine Pizza: Why wait at the pizzeria watching the pizza being meticulously hand-tossed by a chef when the Roberto Pizza vending machine can give you fresh 12” pizzas with a choice of topping within 3 minutes and that too at just a press of button (and a few coins, of course)!
2. Vastedda: The Cow spleen sandwich is Sicily's original fast food item, right since the 1800s. The spleen is sliced raw, cooked in lard and served with soft sesame bun and ricotta cheese – a true delicacy for an offal enthusiast.
3. Lo Spiedo Bresciano: Who doesn’t love a song bird, we all do! But the people of Brescia don’t just enjoy their sweet tunes but also relish its bony meat. Lo Speido Bresciano or spit roasted migratory Song birds, the signature dish from Brescia, is a bony delight that is savored whole along with sage, potatoes, and other roasted meats.
4. Lampredotto or Tripe Sandwich: Italians eat all kinds of meats including the entrails of various animals; Lampredotto is one such famous dish from Florence. To make Lampredotto, cow trip is boiled with tomatoes and Parmesan cheese, and served with crunchy bun – this is quite a popular dish in Florence, especially among the locals.
5. Lardo di Colonnata: Lardo, a delightful delicately flavored dish from the Colonnata town in Italy is definitely a nightmare for any serious dieter. The Lardo di Colonnata is nothing but pure pork fat cured with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Though, typically served sliced over warm bread, some people prefer to eat it as is!
6. Buristo – the Italian black pudding: This is the dish that you must have whenever you get a vampirish craving, for Buristo is a sausage like dish made from the blood drawn from pigs! Moreover, this traditional Tuscan recipe is usually eaten raw (or rather without reheating) along with the local breads.
7. Cieche Fritte or Fried Baby Eels: Want to know how little baby eels, which have not even developed their eye sight taste like then, you must eat Cieche Fritte from Livorno. These eels are no longer than 1 cm, transparent in color, and have a delicate fishy flavor. The fried baby eels are usually served fried with bread on the side.
8. Bottarga: Popularly known as poor man’s caviar, Bottarga is the classic Sicilian and Sardinian recipe made from the roe pouch of tuna, grey mullet, or swordfish. To make this dish, the roe pouch is dried in sea salt and coated in beeswax until it becomes hard. The Bottarga is typically grated over snacks and main courses like pastas and anti-pasti.
9. Cibreo: A friend had told me that Italians don’t let any part of a chicken to go waste and Cibreo is a dish that testifies this claim. Cibreo is nothing but cocks comb. A Tuscan delight, the Cibreo is said to have a nice meaty taste.
10. Casu Marzu: This is definitely the weirdest and most bizarre Italian food you will ever get to eat. Typically made in Sardinia, Italy, Casu Marzu is a cheese filled with live insect larvae. These larvae are added to the cheese to enable a level of fermentation that is close to decomposition, at which point the cheese’s fats are broken down. The cheese is surprisingly served raw with the tiny worms still live and jumping inside; in fact these translucent worms can jump up to half a foot height if disturbed. Though, many prefer to brush off the insects before relishing the pungent cheese, some people actually eat the cheese along with the worms for experiencing a different level of flavor and crunch!
So, this is my list of weird Italian snacks; however, I am sure each one you must have at least once encountered an Italian dish that would surely be termed as weird, if you have then, do share them with me.