The best food and drink delights from Italy in Autumn
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Italy is a place that should only be visited during the summer months, as the autumn offers a spectacular range of events, sights and culinary delights, take a look at some other inspiration here. Aside from the fact the weather is a little cooler, there is no reason why a holiday to Italy later in the year couldn’t be equally as fun, if not more. With shorter que times, and less people around, you can explore the local beauties and immerse yourself in the culture in a quiet and serene environment. One of the best things about autumn in Italy has to be the fantastic foods and drinks found all over, and here are just six of our favourites:
This fine wine is unlike any other, undergoing a very short process before hitting the shelves in early November. Vino Novella is the first wine to be stocked into the stores after the yearly grape harvest. With a very short production process of just six weeks, the rich purple wine must be consumed within six months, so is a treat that can only be enjoyed for a short few months of the year but is certainly worth it.
You may have tried figs before, but nothing compares to the sticky figs of Italy. Although these are available in the form of jams and conserves all-year around, during September and October you can find these in Italian supermarkets, or if you are lucky, you can pluck them directly off the trees and tuck into the tasty sweet fruits. These are delicious either eaten alone, mixed into a thick yoghurt, or paired with some prosciutto or fine cheeses.
Although more of a Christmas tradition, roasted chestnuts, or ‘castagne’, can be found all over Italy during the autumn season. Whether you would prefer to pick up a bag of the rich brown nuts at the market to roast in the comfort of your own villa in Puglia, or if you’d rather not do the hard work, cones of warming nutty treats will be found sold on street corners all around the city.
A popular bakery take on autumn chestnuts, castagnaccio is a nutty cake to be enjoyed at any time of day. A mixture of rosemary, pine nuts and chestnut flour is combined together to create a sugarless dense cake. The perfect accompaniment to this delicious treat is some fine desert wine, or a sweet thick chestnut honey. A fantastic combination of autumnal flavours, castagnaccio will really get you in the mood for the season, and is a great little pick me up for when you are wondering through winding Italian streets and absorbing the atmosphere.
Squash and Pumpkin
Another classic autumn flavouring, squash, or pumpkin, is a very popular ingredient during this season in Italy. Be it in stuffed pasta parcels, mixed with nutmeg and made into crunchy cookies or mushed into a creamy mash form, and topped with parmesan. The wholesome qualities of the fruits make it a wonderful ingredient that is both nutritious, comforting and filling. Found in many restaurants all over the country, you should definitely try some of the flavoursome local squash produce!
The two variations of these fruits differ greatly from one another, one being hard and the other soft, and both look like a mix between a beef tomato and a bell pepper. The softer option offers a jelly like innards, this pairs perfectly with creamy Italian gelato, ricotta cheese or yoghurt. Or if you really can’t get enough of the juicy fruit, cut the persimmon in half and simply eat it with a spoon! The harder variety is often cut into slices and eaten, described as a ‘brown-sugary combination between an apple and a date’, these delights are great served up in an autumnal salad, salsa or in other fruity desert dishes!