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Published On: Thu, Dec 12th, 2019

Alternative dining in Italy

Although, to many, it is hard to imagine not wanting to enjoy the traditional cuisine of Italy, there are a few alternatives out there. Those who have visited Italy often and want a change can enjoy Malaysian street food, Jewish cuisine and vegan and vegetarian food.

By Victor Dam on Wikimedia Commons

  1. Sate & Sake – Malaysian street food in Turin

Sate & Sake is most likely the only Malaysian food truck in Italy. Run by Malaysian-born Justin Yip, in Turin, the delicious street food has taken off in a surprising way. When Yip first moved to Italy, he noted the lack of international cuisine available in the country and decided to do something about it. 

Initially, Yip hoped to build his business by serving Asian exchange students in Italy, but now his clients are mostly Italian – in fact more than 90 percent according to Yip. He never expected his delicious satay offerings to take off in such an amazing way. Italians normally tend to stick up their noses at the thought of foreign food, but even they have been won over by the combination of spices, crunchiness and tender meat.

  1. Jewish cuisine in Rome

The Jewish Quarter in Rome has had a difficult past. While this quaint and beautiful area of Rome is now popular with tourists, between the 16th to 19th centuries, this area was the Roman Jewish Ghetto. People living there was restricted, with little in the way of job opportunities and a limiting curfew each day. This made life difficult for the Jewish people living there to find suitable food, especially food that was kosher and it led to families making the most of what they did have to cook up tasty Jewish cuisine.

Some of the key and affordable ingredients of the food found in the Jewish Quarter are zucchini, anchovies, cod and artichokes, popular ingredients in today’s cuisine. These days, visitors to the Via del Portico d’Ottavia can enjoy a number of kosher restaurants, as well as trendy bars and quaint shops. Here you can sample and enjoy “Carciofi alla Giudia,” or Jewish artichokes, wonderful breads and pastries and even a Jewish take on Italian pasta.

  1. Go veggie or vegan in Rome

Vegetarians and vegans are often hard-pressed to find restaurants serving their ideal cuisine in any country, Italy included. However, trends are changing and a number of new and suitable eateries are popping up in Rome and other areas of Italy, either serving only vegetarian or vegan cuisine, or incorporating veggie dishes into their menu.

One of these is Fiore, a “flexitarian” restaurant steps away from Via Veneto in Rome. Their menu has healthy and delicious options to satisfy all tastes and diets. Meat lovers and seafood lovers are satisfied, while vegan and vegetarians are happily catered for.

The Chef at Fiore is constantly experimenting with innovative cooking techniques, including steamed food, raw food and low temperature frying, but the cuisine always respects Italian traditions, while keeping all diners satisfied and happy. Even better, a terrace on the top floor of Fiore adds beautiful views to its great menu!

Taste something different on your next trip to Italy – “buon appetito!”

 Author: Anne Sewell

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