Italy food

Jan 15th, 2015, 12:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 152
Italy food

This May my wife and I will be spending 3 weeks in Italy - from Amalfi to Stressa; We are both alergic to seafood; we love meat, potatoes, as well as pasta. What do you think will we find to be our most popular and available lunch? Dinner?

rmgood is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 12:40 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,034
Are you asking about where to eat, or what to eat?

Will you be traveling independently or on a tour?

You can easily avoid seafood even on the coast. And you will save money by doing so, as it tends to be more pricey than other items.

What do you mean by "most popular" lunch and dinner?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
If you are seriously allergic, you should carry with you a card written in Italian that describes your allergy so you can show it to people in restaurants and food stands. You can find these cards online if you do a google search for them. You can just print them off your computer.

It is important to do this because it is very common in coastal Italy to use seafood shells and anchovies to flavor broths and sauces. You might know this just from reading the menu.

In the Amalfi coast it is possible to find restaurants serving meat but you will need to search ahead of time to find them. Most restaurants will be serving seafood.

If you are away from the coast, even if you are on a lake, you will find most places are serving meat.

In Italy, most potatoes are used to make gnocchi (dumplings) but sometimes you will find them served roasted or even mashed.

Before you take your trip, you can learn about the food of the places you will be visiting by doing a google search for "typical dishes of Lago Maggiore" or "typical cuisine Amalfi". You will find it easier to know what to order when you arrive if you do this research in advance. But you still should carry a card for your allergies so you enjoy your trip and feel well the whole time.
sandralist is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,195
The cuisine of Italy is very regional, so it would be difficult to predict which few foods you will find available in every place you will visit. As sandralist mentioned, it would do you well research the regions you will visit. Most travel guides will have a section on cuisine and offer brief descriptions of the typical foods you will find by region.

A quick Google found these sites:
ellenem is online now  
Jan 15th, 2015, 03:05 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
You should be aware of couple of thing about restaurants in Italy

Generally portions are smaller than in the US and people tend to order more courses

Pasta is a separate course - not provided along with the meat

Potatoes are available in some places but will not come with the meat - you need to order as a separate side dish (typical of most vegetables) as you would other vegetables and the order is usually enough for 2 or 3 people

In the far north (mountains) you are emote likely to get potatoes - or even rice (risotto is very popular in Venice and surroundings) than pasta

the only place we were served potatoes and veggies along with the chicken or meat was near Aosta - and portions were also much larger there too.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 04:27 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,093
A typical Italian meal consists of:
1. Antipasto - starter. Pickled vegetables, salad, a small dish of raw meat (carpaccio), or something like that.
2. Primo piatto - first course. Typically pasta, could also be risotto or gnocchi and such.
3. Secondo piatto - second or main course. Meat or fish. Any side dishes ("contorni"), like vegetables, must be ordered separately.
4. Dolce - sweet dessert.

This is a full dinner and should be ordered in this sequel and no other. If you are less hungry, in most places it is perfectly fine to order just a pasta dish ("solo un primo").

The menu usually has a long list of antipasti from which you select one, an even longer list of "primi" from which you pick one, a list of meat dishes and a list of fish dishes for second course from which... and so on. Hence seafood can easily be avoided.

Important words to avoid:
Frutti di mare = "fruit of the sea": mixed seafood, musssels, shrimps, octopus, etc.
Calamari, polpi, seppie = octopus
pesce = fish
gamberi, scampi, aragoste, astici, granchi e granseole, canocchie = various kinds of shrimps, crabs, lobster
vongole, cozze = specieses of mussels, can be used in pasta sauce ("spaghetti alle vongole")
quokka is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 05:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
The names of seafoods may change from region to region (and quokka's list misspells several). If you don't speak Italian, you need a card explaining your allergy to the people from whom you get food.

I also made a typo in my post. I should have said you might NOT be able to see on a menu whether seafood is included in a dish, even if you do speak Italian. Most Italian menus do not list all the ingredients in a dish, sauce or soup.
sandralist is offline  
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