We love the food and wine of Italy. It is unique in our world in that it is fresh, local and delicious.
Italy has different types of restaurants:
By knowing the differences, as explained in this video, you can eat well for not a lot of money.
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Vino or wine in Italy is special. Most Italians drink cafè and vino. They are universal drinks in Italy. Cafè is pretty much the same all over Italy. Coffee beans are fresh and roasted to perfection. The people making the cafè are highly trained individuals. You go to a bar to get your cafè and maybe something sweet to eat with it.
Vino is different in different parts of Italy. Italy has many world-class wines like Brunello and Chianti. Their Brunello stands up to the top wines in France or California. It is expensive even in Italy so it is not consumed by most people at the dinner table. Italy has local wines by region. You can find both red and white, dry and sweet varieties. Some are bottled and others are only available in bulk to consumers. Bulk wines are poured from a large cask into what ever vessels the consumer has. They range from water bottles to glass or ceramic pitchers.
Going to restaurants in Italy yields a large selection of wines in bottles and local wines that are served in 1 liter and 1/2 liter pitchers. These wines are usually very good. Italians pride themselves on their wines. The next time in Italy try a 1/2 liter of a local wine. These will vary greatly by region and city within Italy. You could spend a life time sampling all the different local wines throughout Italy. Enjoy …
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An Enoteca is a special type of wine store that originated in Italy. It is a Wine Library. The idea is to have owners of a local wine group on hand to serve wine and answer questions about it. Visiting an Enoteca is rewarding in that you can try many types of local wines and understand how they are made and from what grape they are produced. These are small bars that specialize in wine. Usually you sit at the bar and can speak with a knowledgeable person as you try the wines.
As in all bars in Italy, alcohol is served with food. An Enoteca usually serves small plates of food or even small sandwiches. The idea is not to get drunk but to taste different wines and learn about them. This can be an inexpensive and enjoyable way to have a small dinner with wine.
The Enoteca can be found in most large Italian cities and in some smaller ones. It is a great way to learn and sample which wines are local to the area you are in. You can also buy a bottle or two of these local wines.
These special bars are showing up all over America. For the real experience, you will have to travel to Italy!
George & Jo Anne
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Coffee in Italy is a religion … a way of life. They mainly drink espresso. In America in larger cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc., you can find good espresso. It is common here as well. In small American cities, it is not so common. Most forms of Italian coffee are available in America. The barista in Italy study for a long time. It is a serious job. About Travel lists “How to order coffee in an Italian Bar”. Here are some coffees in Italy:
- Caffè – Normal Italian coffee (espresso)
- Caffè Lungo – A larger cup of espresso. This is also known as Caffè Americano. It is weaker than normal Caffè.
- Caffè con Panna – Caffè with sweet cream.
- Caffè con Zucchero – Caffè with sugar.
- Caffè Macchiato – Caffè with a little steamed milk.
- Cappuccino – Cappuccino with steamed milk (a thick foam on top).
- Caffè Latte – Caffè with milk. A cappuccino without the foam.
There are many more forms at the link above. Most people order one of the above. Just step into any bar and say un Caffè per favore.
George & Jo Anne
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