An Italian Neapolitan Food Tour, Flickr: s4xton

Margherita Pizza!

 

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!” You’ve heard the song in many television shows or movies, but what does it really mean? For us, it means we love Italian food. One of the oldest cuisines is Neapolitan cuisine that dates back to the Greco-Roman period. Culinary favorites reign from the Campania region and is often based on pasta, seafood and the mixture of the elaborate dish made when the two meet.
Baccalà
If the word seems familiar to you, it should, especially if you are a Spanish speaker. Neapolitan Baccalà is salted Cod. This fish was introduced by Northern Europeans and was spiced up by the Italians. It can simply be drizzled in olive oil and fried with olives, capers and black pepper. Or, you try a fancier dish with tomatoes, red peppers, pine nuts and served together over fresh pasta.
Acqua pazza: Fish in Crazy Water
Uh oh: is this some kind of special dish that is going to do something to us after we eat it. Don’t worry; you can sink your teeth into Acqua pazza with the reassurance that crazy water is just a name. This term refers to poached white fish, often in lightly herbed broth water. The tradition stems from fishermen in the Neapolitan area who would cook the catch of the day in sea water- since it was a simple and cost efficient way to eat. Modern versions of the dish include cherry tomatoes, olive oil and spices.
Parmigara di Melazone: Eggplan Parmigana
You’ve probably seen this dish in every Italian restaurant from New York to San Francisco, but there’s nothing like the true Italian version of Eggplant Parmigana. It is a hearty winter dish with pungent flavors that warms the soul. Key ingredients to this dish are eggplant, tomatoes and basil. The eggplant is not coated in breadcrumbs, but instead lightly fried in fresh olive oil. That ooey, gooey flavor in your mouth is fresh mozzarella, the cherry on top to this classic dish. Best of all, this is vegetarian friendly dish!
Pizza Napolitano
There goes that pizza pie we were just mentioning and dreaming about! When you think Italian pizza, a smile instantly comes to our face. It is the best known creation of the Neapolitan region. The oldest pizza dates back to the Roman Empire, but the pizza we know and love today is about 200-years old. In a contest to honor Queen Margherita, a national pizza was made by the winner who used the colors of the Italian flag on the pizza. He used sauce for the color red, mozzarella for white and basil for green. But what makes Neapolitan pizza epic is the way it is cooked- in a wood-fire oven.
Struffoli
The name is cute and so is the way this Neapolitan dessert is served. It is a simple treat- small deep-fried balls of dough that are crunchy at the taste, but warm and fluffy inside. If you thought that was Italian goodness already, they are then mixed with honey, cinnamon, orange rind and sprinkles for an extra sweet kick. This dish is traditionally served at Christmas and Easter.
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photo: s4xton

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