Regional Drinks and Foods of Italy
If you're in Italy to eat, bring it on! Visiting Italy can be — and often is — non-stop eating!
But to understand food in Italy, it’s important to understand Italy’s overall food culture and the foods of Italy — the building blocks on which any delicious dish is made.
Olives, bread, cheese, truffles, tomatoes, artichokes, grains, grapes, and many others — these are just a few of the food staples that define one of the tastiest cuisines in the world, the ingredients that make the traditional dishes.
These food products are significant in Italian food culture, and most are produced under strict laws and production guidelines of the DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta; literally in English, Protected Designation of Origin), and IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta; literally in English Protected Geographical Indication) designations.
Nearly 300 fine food specialties are produced in Italy under these regulations, the highest number of specialty products certificated by the EU. These are the Italy foods to taste on a food tour or on the farm, grown by producers over time — sometimes as long as 25 years!