How Italy stacks up on an Italian food ranking

Written by Staff Writer

It’s a packed jam-packed week for food lovers in Italy.

On January 3, Rome’s Town Hall and Restaurant Fenech, a traditional Italian eatery where guests can enjoy a true Tuscan-style meal, was awarded the World’s Top Restaurant 2018 title. They beat out some major foodies’ favorites, including San Sebastian’s Mugaritz, and Restaurant Rivington in New York.

Following on from this, another surprising award was announced: Italy’s Ripcato (its word for cheese) Best Cheeses in the World 2018.

What exactly makes the Ripcato top cheese in the world? Like most things in Italy, the answer lies in the classics, Italians explained. Here’s what we know.

1. Alba

This northeastern region of Italy has always been associated with its family-run dairy farms, according to Roberto Ciancio, who is the director of the Ripcato Sourdough Wine Verde and Cheese Shop in Rome.

There are currently 15,500 dairy farms in Alba, in which 40% of the region’s yearly output is cheese.

Nuovo cioppino in Alba. Credit: Courtesy Artlio Cassendano

For this region, Alba is famous for mozzarella di bufala, grated aged and ripened, and foie gras in syrup.

Alba: Countryside in a city

And during the summertime, when the fields are reaping their ripening crop, the town centers are alive with a red carpet of colorful plaids.

2. Lucca

Lucca is located in the region of Puglia, about 60 kilometers north of Alba.

This much smaller community near the coast plays host to a few thousand production farms and is a driving distance to the famous UNESCO site Pompeii

When it comes to the summer, restaurants like Cioppino’ Cucina in Lucca are high on the buzz.

3. Sorrento

This hilltop town, with rolling green hills surrounding it, is the birthplace of Parma ham.

The Parma ham market, established over 600 years ago, is responsible for giving the ham global recognition.

In the town, a food pairing excursion awaits. They can also be eaten in restaurants like L’Arena.

4. Mantua

Located in the northwest part of the region of Tuscany, Mantua plays host to producers of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Tratto Veronese.

Tenerife is one of Italy’s key islands. Credit: Courtesy FRANCOIS HO/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Italy’s Northern Least province holds the distinction of being the birthplace of a delicacy: Rafferty’s Paris Rafferty’s, also known as a ‘rugby ragu.’

The real star here, however, is the sauce, a secret recipe that has an incredible ability to bring classic meats and fish to life.

5. Amalfi Coast

Amalfi is in the center of the Amalfi Coast and was home to Alberto Cortesi, a famous Italian culinary explorer who was responsible for naming the region and the antipasti items it has become known for.

He arrived in 1734 and became a devotee of the region. Amalfi is also a prime destination for travelers looking to indulge in seafood.

These popular dishes include squid ink, octopus, octopus ink, limoncello, and buttery lobster and shrimp risotto.

6. Gran Sasso island, Florence

The region of Monte, known as the Garifuna Islands in Italy, is considered the home of the famed Chesapeake Bay Seafood Co.

Produced in fields (or gulches) of wild grass, the product is high in content of high-quality proteins and lower in fat.

By definition, a lot of the San Martino Sandals, including “ta il Santo” , are made from fish such as squid, and are served throughout Florence and other towns in this area.

7. Vicenza

The recent award for best Ripcato Cheeses was created after one dinner at Pupatella’s

The dinner was a full day event, which translated into a busy pantry filled with 45 cheeses.

Finally, given the cheese pie was a traditional Piedmontese dish, Pupatella set it up as an option as an aperitif to begin dinner.

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