Have Your Fish, and Clean It Too

Since Italy is a peninsula surrounded by three seas, it is no surprise that seafood makes its appearance on plates all over the country. Fishing fleets bring in all manner of catch, and cold-water fish like cod and salmon are imported and readily available. Dining outside on a warm day overlooking the water can be a great pleasure. It can also sometimes bring a bit of a surprise.

Seafood, as it is served in Italy, may require a little more work than you’re accustomed to. Most fish –- from shrimp to bass -- are brought to the table whole: head, tail, scales, and shells intact. Even in pasta dishes, the shrimp are usually left whole. Cooking it this way renders the fish moister and more flavorful. It also challenges the diner to successfully clean the critters without making a mess. If you’re not accustomed to maneuvering with fork and knife to behead and debone a fish, ask the waiter to have the chef clean it for you; most are happy to oblige. Shellfish are your responsibility, though. You may find it easier to ask for an additional small plate to rest the shrimp on for leverage while you work with your fork and knife to extricate the delicacy from its shell.

Pesce on menus refers to fish, those with scales and fins. Frutti di mare refers to shellfish and other sea creatures such as squid, octopus and cuttlefish.

Seafood restaurants generally offer a wide array of antipasti, delicate plates of various fish-based concoctions. You may need to establish how many plates you’re willing to receive, otherwise they’ll keep rolling out until you say, “enough” (or “basta,” in Italian). Many restaurants also offer a fixed-price menu which includes several of the antipasti choices, a pesce-based pasta dish, a whole-fish main course and vegetable, along with vino bianco (white wine), of course. It is a great way to try many varieties of the best from Italy’s seas. Of course, meals a la carte can also be ordered.

With so much coastline offering spectacular views and delicious dishes, you’ll want to give the fish a try during your Italian vacation.

Albicocca Vesuviana
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Alici di Menaica
The villages scattered all around the Cilento coast maintain a very ancient fishing technique, but non so closely tied to it than the pretty town of Pisciotta.
Aperitivi - Happy Hour Italian Style
A pre-dinner drink for relaxing, socializing and enjoying a glass of vino with a few nibbles – sounds like happy hour!
Burrata
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Cacioricotta
Cacioricotta is a soft cheese typical of the Cilento National Park.
Coffee, Italian Style
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Colatura di Alici
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Fagiolina del Trasimeno
Since 2000, Castiglione del Lago has homed a Slow Food presidium in order to promote and conserve the Fagiolina del Trasimeno.
Italian Coffee Drinks
With more than 250,000 coffee bars within the peninsula, it's obvious that Italians are passionate about coffee.
Pecorino Bagnolese
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Prosciutto di Norcia IGP
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Zeppole di San Giuseppe
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Mamma Agata: Simple and Genuine
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The Scoop on Sandwiches, Italian Style
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Hot Days, Cold Drinks
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Mozzarella di Bufala
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Liquid Sunshine
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Great Roman Wines
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Pane di Agerola
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High-Quality Italian Products
At Summer in Italy we do care about our guests, and this is why, in order to help you making your food shopping in Italy just perfect, we would like to share a few tips about high-quality local products.
Provolone del Monaco DOP
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White Fig of Cilento DOP
Its unique and special characteristics, very much appreciated even abroad, gives the name to "Fico Bianco del Cilento": once dried, the sweet peel gets light yellow coloured rather than chestnut brown if oven-cooked.
Paestum Artichoke IGP
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San Marzano Tomato of Agro Nocerino Sarnese DOP
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Hazelnut of Giffoni IGP
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Caciocavallo Silano DOP
Caciocavallo Silano is a semi-hard cheese, made with vaccine milk, seasoned 15 days minimum.

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