It's Autumn, hooray! Italians are real seasonal eaters. When traveling or living in Italy it's easy to tell what foods are in season because 1.) there is usually a fair celebrating the harvest and 2.)the outdoor markets are inundated with that food and 3.)all of the restaurants have that food item as today's chef's special. So what do Italians eat in the fall?
1.White Truffles: A little goes a looooooong way and thank goodness for that because truffles cost around $1,000 a pound. If you have never had the pleasure of having truffles, I would recommend easing into it. Like the first time you tried coffee or beer, it is an acquired taste. Most Italians will have a shaving on their pasta, risotto, or eggs.
2. Pumpkins: Ravioli stuffed with pumpkin in a sage butter sauce is my all time favorite Italian pasta dish. That little bit of sweet mixed with a salty flavor is glutton worthy. It's a dish only around in the fall so I have this small window to eat as much as I can.
3. Chestnuts: Sold hot on every corner on every street in the fall and winter. You can smell them roasting everywhere in the city. There is some work to eating them in taking off the shells and making quite a mess, but the end result is a warm and tasty comfort food.
4. Artichokes: Americans are known for their love of fried foods. But don't let an Italian tell you that they don't love a good fry up as well. I have tasted everything from fried squids to fried veal dining out in Italy. One of the best items is a fried artichoke. A nice mix of crunchy and soft, tastes like a fried food but still tastes like a veggie. There are of course a thousand ways to enjoy an artichoke but when their in season, a fresh fried one is lovely. No need for any sauce but just a squeeze of lemon.
Autumn is also grape picking season for wine making and the vineyards are buzzing. The air smells of squashed grapes and dirt. Ahhh fall. What are your favorite fall foods?