Italian coffee and pastry (cornetto)

Glutton in Italy

[Every Friday is Food Friday here at YQ travelling. Let’s feast.]

Last week, we had a taste of food in Florence in the Glutton eats with Florence Food Tour.

Today, I want to show you the other food I ate while in Italy. Before I went to Italy, the only Italian food I know of was pasta, pizza and Italian-named coffees. I never ate much gelato back home because it’s always more expensive than ice creams.

Italian coffees

Italian breakfast of cappucino and cornetto
Italian breakfast of cappucino and cornetto

Italians don’t seem to drink bad coffee–the coffee at the breakfast buffet of my mid-priced hotel in Pisa was rather good and even the cappucino served at IKEA (famous for its burnt coffee) was excellent.

IKEA Italy's coffee bar. How awesome is that?
IKEA Italy’s coffee bar. How awesome is that?

While in Florence, I had a favorite coffee shop right at the Palazza Duomo. The place serves good coffee and has a view of one of the walls of the very beautiful Duomo.

In Italy, coffee is usually drank at the bar. It seems to me that only tourists sit at tables, and are charged more for it.

Gelato

Pistachio and vanilla gelato
Pistachio and vanilla gelato

I have to confess. I cannot actually tell the difference between gelatos of different shops. Apart from the flavors, they all taste the same to me: milky and cold.

I did have an extra nice pistachio-flavored gelato while in Rome. It really tasted of green pistachios.

Strawberries

Strawberries do not taste of straw
Strawberries do not taste of straw

Strawberries were in season when I was in Italy. For my first two nights, I ate only strawberries for dinner because I was too tired of going out and deciphering menus.

Pizza

Pizza used to be my favorite western dish back when I was growing up. We only had Pizza Hut but I loved it anyway.

I had the most amazing pizzas when I was in Rome. I was walking around the neighborhood of my AirBnb place, trying to look for the restaurant recommended by the houseowner. I didn’t find the restaurant but I found a pizzeria.

Tasty mushroom pizza and salami pizza
Tasty mushroom pizza and salami pizza

Pizza there sold by weight, not slice as I was used to. On the first day, I ordered a small slice. But the next day, I ordered double the volume because it was just too tasty.

Special dishes in Florence

I spent 5 night in Florence, making it the city I spend the most time in. The Chinese hostel owner brought me to the streets on the day I arrived, even before I put my bags in the hostel, and showed me a Florence street food.

Lampredotto

Lampredotto
Lampredotto

The lampredotto is made from the fourthΒ  stomach of a cow. It’s cooked in a sauce and served either on its own or squished between a hard bun.

The taste was alright but I always appreciate entrails (even though my cholesterol is on the higher side). The bread that came along was a tougher challenge and made me feel like a cow that have grazed too long and hurt my jaw.

Porchetta sandwich

Porchetta at Florence's Tuesday Market
Porchetta at Florence’s Tuesday Market

At the Tuesday Market, there were food trucks selling lampredotto and porchetta. How do you know if the truck sells porchetta? It’s easy. They have a whole roasted pig on display.

The porchetta sandwich I ate had a hard bread. The meat wasn’t moist so it felt like I was gnawing through tough cardboard.

Florentine steak

Florentine steak
Florentine steak

I had this special dish in Florence one rainy evening. It’s less of a steak and more of a great slab of meat cooked crispy on the outside and bloody in the inside.

Even though I was feeling melancholic during that meal, I must say that the meat meat tasted great. However I wasn’t able to finish my 700gm slab of steak so I took it back to my hostel where the hostel mates polished it off.

That’s what I call team work!

Odd one out: Chinese dumplings

Chinese dumplings at Chinese-run hostel
Chinese dumplings at Chinese-run hostel

This is a rather odd entry in my Italian food list. Since I was staying in a Chinese-run hostel, I had the chance to have dinner there for an extra 5 euro.

One night, the owner served Chinese dumpling but it had a strange filling. There didn’t seem to be any meat and had glass noodles and cabbage instead.

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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