Naples & Amalfi Coast

Top 10 (+1) Food Specialties not to miss in Naples

March 25, 2015
Enrico Catani

The renowned Neapolitan cuisine boasts ancient origins with an endless variety of dishes, based on fresh local ingredients, such as fish, mozzarella, Vesuvius tomatoes, meat, vegetables and legumes.
Some dishes are among the most popular, not only in Italy, but also in the entire world: just simply think of the classic pasta with tomato and basil, or the buffalo mozzarella, or the pizza (of course), which is considered the universal symbol of Italian culinary traditions.
So, here’s a list of the top 10 (+1) dishes you must absolutely try if you visit Naples. But be careful: some of them might be addictive!

1. Pizza

The Neapolitan pizza is a must for anyone visiting the city: it would be foolish and unforgivable not taste it in one of the historic pizzerias of the historic centre. The pizza is one of the most beloved and copied foods around the world, but the authentic one is only in Naples.
You cannot resist its taste and texture: soft in the middle and crisp on the borders, covered with fine tomato sauce, delicious buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil leaves. The pizza in Naples is so important that it’s officially recognized as a traditional specialty guaranteed by the European Union. A delicious treat that will feast your palate, a unique pleasure you cannot miss.

2. Buffalo mozzarella

Fresh, tasty and appetizing, there is nothing like the Neapolitan buffalo mozzarella. A soft cheese, typical from the Campania region, where the buffalos are raised in a natural way. Its delicious taste is closely linked to the history and culinary traditions of Southern Italy. Its taste will remind you to bucolic and genuine images.
The buffalo mozzarella exists in numerous different forms, delicious and appetizing, like the fresh bocconcini, the spirited knots, the cherries, and many other variants that are all prepared with simple and natural ingredients.

3. Parmigiana

Many cities claim the origin of the mythical eggplant parmigiana, but there is definitely a factor that puts all agree: his incredible taste. The ingredients are simple and its preparation boasts ancient traditions, providing a unique and unforgettable taste that drives everyone crazy. The main, few ingredients are: the tomato sauce, the inevitable basil, fresh Parmesan, mozzarella cheese, and of course the eggplants.
The result is surprising: a mix of flavors, perfectly combined to each other, that you must absolutely try if you’re in Naples.

4. Mozzarella in Carrozza

The mozzarella in carrozza (literally “mozzarella in a carriage”) is a Neapolitan specialty, suitable for any time: could be the right dish for a snack, lunch, happy-hour and dinner. Very easy to prepare, require minimal effort and all the ingredients are cheap and easy to recover, but even so, this delicious and tasty dish is loved by all!
And how could you not adore it? Once you bite into the first slice of fried and warm bread, wrapped with the egg and with a soft slice of mozzarella cheese in the middle, you will fall in the tasty trap of its deliciousness.

5. Pasta ai fagioli

The pasta with beans is delicious and very nutritious as well! It is known all over the world, but its place of origin is definitely Naples, in fact you can order this ancient dish in most of the restaurants in the historic centre.
The pasta with beans was originally cooked by the peasants who, with a few fresh, natural ingredients (produced by themselves), they could feed their families with something genuine and extremely good. What characterizes this dish – as well as most of the Campania recipes – is its freshness, simplicity and delicious taste.

6. Neapolitan ragù

This classic Neapolitan sauce (or ragù) is the most known condiment and appreciated in Campania, is not used much in everyday life because of his long preparation... But the taste is definitely worth the wait. The recipe for this sauce involves the use of meat, cut into small or medium, pieces according to the animal used.
What makes this dressing tasty and strong flavor is the use of multiple types of meat: beef, pork, veal and chanterelles. The tomato is the other inevitable ingredient of this ancient Neapolitan recipe, which characterizes and makes recognizable Mediterranean dishes.

7. Pasta alla genovese

The so-called Genovese pasta is an institution in Neapolitan cuisine: every Sunday, when the family gathers for lunch, this dish is on the tables of many homes in Naples! The Genovese pasta is not from Genoa, but from Naples, and it consists in a first course of ziti – long-shaped pasta, broken in half – topped with a white sauce of beef and onions, which requires a long preparation.
The beef is cut into cubes and cooked in a pot, with a simple fried celery and carrot and onions cut into thin slices coppery. The slow, long cooking over low-heat causes the onions and meat to fuse together and release a succulent sauce.

8. Fried Sardines

The anchovies are a type of blue fish that is found in the Mediterranean Sea, considered a poor fish is actually very nutritious and rich in healthy substances. The anchovy-based recipes are many and very diverse: one of the most famous and simple is definitely the Neapolitan recipe, where the anchovies are fry in hot oil and turn after being wrapped in flour.
Fried anchovies are a really tasty dish and very good, strong taste and incomparable, it is also an easily digested fish, which contains little fat. Delicious accompanied by a few drops of lemon or served with a few bay leaves.

9. Sfogliatella

We’re now entering in the noble art of Neapolitan pastry, appreciated worldwide, beloved by all and impossible to imitate. Among the most famous desserts, we must mention the sfogliatelle: delicious cakes that boast a long history and an important tradition.
This delicious cake has a triangular shape, looks like a shell, formed by a crispy pastry, covered with sweet icing sugar, and inside it has a soft and delicious filling of ricotta and candied fruit. Very often this stuffing can be replaced by jam or chocolate so that even children who like simpler tastes can eat it.

10. Babà

Nothing is more typical and brings us back to Naples atmosphere as the mythical and delicious "Babà". This ancient dessert retains all its traditional character in natural flavors, and still is in great demand by many people, including curious tourists who regularly fall in love with it.
Although this dish is very difficult to prepare and requires a long process, it will certainly satisfy the most discerning palate with its strong and intense taste. Shaped like a mushroom, the babà is completely immersed in rum, but there is also a variant with limoncello.

(+1). The Cuoppo (Neapolitan street food)

The so-called 'O Cuoppo is a classic Neapolitan street food you definitely cannot miss if you visit the city! It consists in a mixture of fried food, such as vegetabls, meat, fish and also sweet, and it is sold in certain kiosks of the historic centre. You can find it all over the city of Naples, served in the roaring cones cardboard, ready to give you the right energy to continue your tour of the city.

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