I was born in Italy and whenever I talk to my foreign friends about my country I hear them say “Italian food! So delicious!” (ok, some of them think about Italian fashion too, but they are usually citing food more).
I was very picky with food while growing up, mainly because I didn’t like the cafeteria food during my primary school years, so I usually ended up eating pasta and that would be all. There’s definitely been some improvement over the years, in the sense that I am more open to trying new food, even foreign cuisines (I didn’t eat sushi until I was probably twenty). What has changed is that I am now interested in cooking (I won’t go so far as to affirm I am a cook myself, but I like experimenting with new recipes which I am planning to share online too).
Nonetheless, most of my favorite foods I have been enjoying since I was a teenager so I have rounded up five foods that are still my favorite; a couple of them may be defined guilty pleasures but I think everyone can eat what they want in moderation!
1) Pizza: my parents love to reminisce about the first time I tasted pizza when I was about five years old and we stopped at a restaurant on the road during a long car journey. I have been loving pizza for ages; since a few years ago I used to eat all-white pizza because I wasn’t a fan of tomato. I have recently started eating tomato on pizza (and on pasta for some dishes, even though no meat sauce or tomato salad for me!) and Pizza Margherita is the one I usually go for. Neapolitan pizza is probably the best, even though I enjoy eating New York pizza when I’m in the States; I usually go to John’s of Times Square or Bleecker Street Pizza and the tomato sauce they use is so good!
Best Neapolitan pizza in Milan is probably Gino Sorbillo, along with Rosso Pomodoro. I was in Bergamo last year and I got to eat at Mòrso; you can eat outside in the spring/summer season, their pizza is great and they also have a fine selection of beers.
Once I also tried a very original pizza at AmaMi in Milan and I especially recommend it for a night out with friends. Ugo, one of our family friends, used to own an Italian restaurant in Antibes, France, and his place was one of the best for authentic Italian food in the French Riviera; it was located near the port of Antibes and was originally called Le Moulin.
2) Seafood Linguine: I love eating fish and seafood linguine is probably my favorite pasta dish. I take after my father, who loves seafood linguine even though he prefers the tomato version.
I was lucky enough to try it in various restaurants of cities both in Italy and abroad, and I have since found my favorite places to eat linguine.
If you are in Milan I suggest you try Il Ristorante – Niko Romito at Bulgari Hotel; I once ate a more elaborate version of seafood linguine at Vun Restaurant – Park Hyatt Hotel but it has since closed and there’s a new restaurant called Pellico 3 which I still haven’t visited.
I had the chance to try linguine at Vox Restaurant in Bergamo, very close to the train station and the city centre, and I highly recommend it.
My favorite place to eat linguine seafood used to be La Rotonde in Menton, France; their fish specialties were delicious and it offered good value for money.
3) Sushi and Asian cuisine: I am a huge fan of sushi and Asian food in general. My father is a big sushi lover, but as I have previously mentioned I didn’t try it until I was 18 or 20 (I first went to a Japanese restaurant with a friend editor when I was 14 during fashion week; it used to be a Milan restaurant called Tsukimi but I remember I ate soy noodles).
My favorite sushi plate is California Maki; I have tried very few sushi places so I would like to expand my search for the perfect sushi restaurant.
I would recommend you try La Collina d’Oro in Milan (it is one of the best Asian restaurants in the city) and also a great Japanese restaurant I found in Bergamo named Kura.
4) French fries: ok, I am obsessed with French fries. When I was doing a summer course in New York, my Brazilian friend Gabriella once told me there’s probably something addictive among their chemical properties because most of us are so drawn to eating fries!
My favorite French fries were the ones my beloved grandmother used to cook for me when I was younger; I miss her so much and whenever I eat fries I immediately think of her.
Other places where I enjoyed eating fries are Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Manhattan, NYC (they usually make curly fries and the place is so amazing that it deserves its own special article) and The Fish House in Notting Hill, London (the British are so great at combining fish and chips!).
My French Fries memories are often linked to convivial moments with friends, especially in New York at Central Park’s Loeb Boathouse and that time I had fries with chicken nuggets at the Yankee Stadium during a baseball game (ok, you will probably notice the giant size of soda along with the fries…as I said, it is good to indulge a little every once in a while and I exercise almost everyday). In New York I also love Balthazar‘s French fries; they come with their own paper cup à la française and they taste delicious!
5) Popcorn: it is more of a snack but it is considered to have many healthy benefits; it contains polyphenols, which have anti-oxidant properties and benefit digestive health and blood circulation. It is also a high-fibre whole grain; The Healthy even listed 9 Reasons to Eat Popcorn so it is good to include it in one’s diet.
I love eating popcorn while watching movies or TV shows at home or when I go to the theater. When I was living in London I used to eat sweet popcorn, but it is less healthy than plain air-popped popcorn.
Popcorn and a glass of red wine reminds me of Scandal’s Olivia Pope, because it was this character’s signature snack; I love to pair it with homemade drinks like Aperol Spritz when I’m home with friends and it is a great option for spending the afternoon together!
I love ice cream so much that I will write about it in article about my favorite ice cream places.
All pictures are my own.
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