If you eat three things... Italy edition

Sunday, 14 July 2019 Italy

If You Eat Three Things Italy Edition
I really enjoyed putting together my first edition of If you eat three things and I was excited to get into the swing of a new blog series as I love food so much. And then I fell off the bandwagon almost as quickly as I got onto it, classic me really. I'm always starting new things and I lose the motivation to see it through to the end.

So, here's me trying to get back on the horse again with my second instalment... ta da! You'll remember that Jack and myself spent five days in Genova, north-west Italy and we even spent a day in Cinque Terre which was incredible. The highlight of our holiday had to be the food, pretty much everything we had was delicious, so try to hold back the tears when I tell you how hard it's been to narrow this edition down to just three things... (sobbing)

Genova as a city firmly falls under the 'up and coming' category, a bit like Porto which has exploded in popularity this year as a foodie destination. Because it's not packed with tourists, the restaurants and cafes weren't crazily expensive like in plenty of other Italian cities. Cinque Terre was obviously sitting at the other end of scale, where everything was wildly expensive so in the end I guess we had some balance.

Without further ado, here's my three unmissable eats from Genova, hope you enjoy!

Croissant with cream and blackcurrant jam  
Caffetteria Orefici e Latteria Buonafede, Via Lomellini 

If You Eat Three Things Italy Edition

It's only since mine and Jack's holiday in Porto that we've fallen a bit in love with falling in love with a great breakfast place and turning up repeatedly for the rest of the holiday. This wonderful place was less than a few minutes away from our flat and the second we spotted beautiful golden croissants stacked with cream on their page we were sold and hopped straight down early the next morning.

The coffee shop is absolutely tiny and only has about six seats inside and a few tables outside to sit and people-watch. We loved seeing the steady stream of Italians wandering in for a quick catch-up with the owner, sipping their espresso and getting on with their day. 

Anyway, onto the croissants themselves. The concept is pretty simple: beautifully-crispy but not too flaky croissants filled with a mountain of whipped cream and topped with sticky blackcurrant jam.

The café also had custard-filled croissants which were just as delicious. But there was nothing quite like that first bite of buttery, crispy croissant and hitting the pillowy cream straight after - it was absolute heaven! I'd also highly recommend the cappucino here, always really creamy without being too milky. I mean most places do a brilliant cappucino here, so so different to how it is in the UK.

Trofie al Pesto
Trattoria Osvaldo, Boccadasse, Via della Casa 

If You Eat Three Things Italy Edition
Genova is the definitive home of traditional pesto, so expect to eat a lot of it if you pay a visit! We couldn't quite believe just how differently each variation of pesto tasted - Most restaurants have developed their distinctive, unique take on the pesto recipe and it was amazing to try so many! 'Trofie' is the thin, twisted pasta shape but we saw plenty of variations of this too.

The above Trofie al Pesto we had on a beautifully sunny day after walking to the nearby village of Boccadasse, a picturesque and historic town famous for its seafood and fishing. We sat in a little courtyard at the Trattoria Osvaldo and enjoyed cooling off in the shade, sipping on crisp white wine and listening to the sounds of people playing and laughing on the rocky beach round the corner.

The Trattoria Osvaldo take on pesto was incredibly herby, fresh and light, and yet the dish still felt indulgent. Finished on top was fresh basil and a parmesan crisp for texture. Another variation I will call out is Trattoria Ugo in Genova, which is incredibly popular with locals for the creamiest and silkiest pesto we tried. This one was actually our favourite but I struggled to get a good picture of it!

If you do visit, I recommend trying as many pesto dishes as possible to understand just how passionate this city is about it! 

Pistachio and Cassata Gelato
Antica Gelateria Amedeo, Boccadasse, Via Boccadasse 

If You Eat Three Things Italy Edition
I mean it would be almost blasphemous not to include gelato in my highlights  of Italian food right?! We spent 70% of our holiday trying lots of different flavours and gelato shops so my decision is incredibly well-researched. 

We discovered that the Genovese are just as obsessed with pistachios as they are about their pesto. Nutty, sweet and creamy, pistachio gelato tastes completely unique and it's incredibly addictive. In terms of looking for a good-quality gelato, the advice we had from others is look for gelato that isn't too bright in colour as these tend to contain more additives and less natural flavours, so your pistachio shouldn't be bright green! 

We picked up the above gelato in Boccadasse after the delicious lunch we had in the fishing village. I of course opted for pistachio and a fabulous new flavour that I'd never had before: Cassata.

Upon returning to the UK I did a bit of research and found out that Cassata is a traditional Sicilian sponge cake which is layered with ricotta and candied fruit, which makes sense now that I've tried the gelato version. In gelato form it's creamy with the taste of ricotta, sweet and refreshing with the bursts of flavour from candied fruit and so different to any ice cream I'd had before! I have a proper sweet tooth so this felt almost child-like and fun to eat.

We tried plenty of other interesting flavours such as Crema, essentially custard-flavoured gelato, Rose, which had a perfumey and heady aroma as you might imagine but was pretty delicate in taste however. I recommend taking advantage of where you are and trying as many Gelaterias as you can because I couldn't believe how different all the recipes tasted to each other!

So that concludes my second If You Eat Three Things edition! I'd love to know if you have any recommendations yourself or if you have an area in mind that I should be covering!

Thanks for reading!

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If You Eat Three Things Italy Edition

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