And given that I’ve been going to Italy since I was born, I am rather familiar with it too, so I’d like to share some of my favorite handheld “snacks” with you. Granted, some of these snacks will keep you going for hours (like the porchetta panini), but these would never be considered a meal by Italian standards!
Here they are in no particular order~
The Top Nine Handheld Snacks Not to Miss in Italy
1. Pizza con Patate
You may think that pizza with potatoes wouldn’t taste very good. But you’d be wrong. If you won’t be popping over to Italy anytime soon, you can make this in your own kitchen with my recipe.
2. Foccacia (or panino) con Salame
What I love about sandwiches in Italy is their simplicity. No mayo, mustard, pickles, bacon, etc., to hide tasteless fillings and cotton wool bread…just fabulous tasting cured meats and incredibly good bread. Done.
3. Cornetti con Panna (cream filled croissants)
These are one of my cousin Gianfranco and my favorites! In fact, he drove into town to buy these the day before, but the shop was closed, so I picked up a couple the next day. I would like these even more if the cream was sans sugar, but when I asked the shop owner about it, he thought I was crazy: “Panna senza zucchero? Non essiste!” Which totally cracked me up, “Cream without sugar? It doesn’t exist!”
4. Pizza al Taglio (Pizza by the slice)
Do I even need to comment here? Once again, if you don’t see yourself booking an Alitalia flight anytime soon, check out this recipe.
These beauties are a sort of large Italian pretzel, or a cross between bread and a pretzel. Rather chewy and with fennel seeds throughout, they are incredibly addictive and are best eaten the first day, which is not usually a problem.
6. Panino con Mortadella
I don’t enjoy mortadella unless it’s sliced super thinly. Unfortunately, even in Rome we had to ask if they could slice it paper thin; so don’t take for granted that they’ll do so. This is one of my mother’s very favorite things to eat when she returns to Italy.
8. Panino con Rapini
I ate this on the bus in Roma on the way to pick up our rental car. You just have to try this because the flavor is fantastic and it’s full of vitamins and folic acid! How often do you eat greens when you travel? Not enough, right? So this is perfect to get some tasty greens into your system, via a pizza! Check out a basic way to make rapini here.
9. Panino con Porchetta
So that’s my nine suggestions for you not to miss when you pop over to Italy next time. Have you been to Italy and if so, have you eaten any of these snacks? Let me know what you think in the comments below…