9 Tasty Delicacies You Can’t Miss In Naples
Naples is considered by many to be the food capital of the country with the best cuisine in the world. That in itself should beckon you to come for a visit, if for nothing else than to eat.
The flavors, much like the city, are bold, indulgent, and simple while at the same time extravagant. From sipping an espresso at the beginning of the day to snacking on some deep fried street food as you walk the city, to a classic dinner of pizza margherita or pasta with seafood, followed by a wonderfully invigorating digestif, your days in Naples will be full of unforgettable eating.
We’ve listed nine local delicacies you must try while in Naples. Enjoy!
There is a cup of coffee you can find in your local cafe and then there is an Espresso served in Naples. The two might seem to be the same when you consider that they’re both brewed from coffee beans and served hot and in a porcelain glass, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.
Espresso is said to originate from Naples, which explains their devotion to making it so superbly and also explains why locals drink it several times a day. The espresso is served in a tiny cup just big enough to hold the handle with two fingers and is extremely caffeinated, with a thick, syrupy texture and a bitter yet invigorating taste. Make sure to have your cup the super cool Italian way, standing at the bar in a café, shoulder to shoulder with other patrons, enjoying a freshly made sweet pastry for a few minutes before you go on your way.
Italians do not mess around when it comes to seemingly over the top flavors, and the sweet sfogiatella is no exception. Consider these somewhat related to a French croissant, being flaky dough brushed with butter and baked to a golden brown, but where it becomes so ridiculously delicious and indulgently Italian is when they cover the top in powdered sugar and stuff it with sweet, velvety ricotta cheese that oozes out with each bite. These pastries are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven with a strong, bitter Italian espresso in the morning, providing you the perfect breakfast for an energetic day in Naples.
Mozzarella di Bufala
Known by foodies as “the pearl on the table”, the much-loved Mozzarella di Bufala is a yummy, southern Italian cheese that stands out for being especially delightful. The cheese made from the milk of Mediterranean Buffalo is specific to southern Italy and has been given special protected status meaning it can only be produced locally, as to make it anywhere else simply wouldn’t have the same flavor and texture. While you’ll find it on pizza, certain kinds of pasta, and in a nice salad Caprese, it’s also enjoyed in Naples as the star of the plate, served with only juicy, sliced tomatoes and a bit of olive oil and a loaf of crusty bread. As a fresh, delectable appetizer it’s hard to beat!
Another offering of Neapolitan fast food, Arancini are a super indulgent, almost over the top treat for your taste buds. The concept behind the origin of arancini was to take leftovers from last night’s dinner—in this case being a mixture of risotto, mozzarella cheese, some vegetables or meat—and form it into a rice ball for recooking. The rice ball is then coated in bread crumbs and dropped into the deep fryer, resulting in a ridiculously flavorful, crispy treat that looks somewhat like an orange (hence the name arancini, which is derived from the Italian word for “orange”). Enjoy, but beware, what looks like a palm-sized snack can fill you up for the rest of the day.
As many know by now, Naples is famous for being the birthplace of pizza. Often copied around the world in different variations, authentic Pizza Margherita sticks to the same unbelievably tasty recipe it’s had since it was first invented, as Neapolitans are smart enough to know that there’s no reason to mess with perfection.
Using only local products such as tomatoes from the plains of Mount Vesuvius, Mozzarella di Bufala di Campana, dough made of high-quality flour, and a few leaves of fresh basil, the flavors of a Pizza Margherita are simple yet spectacular. The process of making the pizza is stringent as well, requiring specific processes laid out by the AVPN (literally the official association that makes sure that Neapolitan Pizzas are made correctly) for kneading and shaping the dough, determining what temperature to cook the pizza at, how thin the pizza should be.
It goes to show that pizza is a very serious thing in Naples, much to the delight of those that seriously love to eat it at its very best while in Italy.
The first cousin of the pizza, Panzerotti is essentially a deep fried calzone that locals enjoy as a quick street food snack. Combining all the goodness of melted mozzarella cheese, zingy tomato sauce, and a choice of ingredients such as anchovies, salami, or mushrooms inside a crispy, airy fried outer shell, this snack is perfect when you are on the go or perhaps needing immediate, delicious sustenance amidst a late night out in Naples.
Spaghetti Alle Vongole
As Naples is a city on the sea, you’ll be sure to find an abundance of fresh seafood everywhere you go. Why not combine a tasty, freshly made pasta with local vongole (tiny clams in the shell) as your primi pasta dish of the meal? The recipe calls for spaghetti, fresh clams, a splash of white wine, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley, and some peperoncino for those that want to spice things up. With this dish you’ll get a fresh, salty taste of the sea and a bite of classic Naples in every forkful.
Nothing screams fresh, bright, authentic southern Italian flavor quite like a glass of Limoncello. This liquor made from the zest of local Sorrento lemons carries a wonderfully aromatic scent and has a beautiful fluorescent yellow color from the skin of the lemon. It is best-enjoyed ice cold in a small glass after dinner as a way to cleanse the palate and add a bit of extra joy and energy to the mood of the table. Limoncello is a must try for those with a thirst for a classic specialty while visiting Naples, just remember to cheers your host with an enthusiastic “Cent’Anni”, meaning a hundred years of good luck, for providing you such a tasty treat.
Eating some of these wonderful local delicacies is a sure way to make your trip to Naples a magical experience. As the Italians say, “Buon appetito”, enjoy your meal!
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