Rainy days are on their way, the air is chilly and the snow will be covering the mountains soon: November is here! November in Italy does not just consist of sad weather and cold afternoons, but it is also a time of year to enjoy wonderful dishes made with the unique seasonal products the country’s lands have to offer. So forget salads and the “light stuff” because now is the time to enjoy comfort foods such as stews, warm desserts and the savory yumminess that your taste buds are begging you for.
The month of November begins with Italians honoring those they’ve loved and lost by taking flowers to the cemetery on November 1st. As we all know, no Italian holiday is complete without family and friends gathering around a table to enjoy an abundance of hearty food. Additionally, November also brings with it a multitude of music festivals, cultural events, and food fairs (such as the truffle festival in Alba) and events that mark the start of a new season of art…which, of course, are all great occasions (and excuses) to taste and try new food!
Here are 5 MUST TRY Italian dishes:
- Lentil Soup
It’s lentil season and they’re ready to be made into hearty soups and stews. You can find lentils with polenta and sausage on menus all throughout central Italy.
Come and get your chestnuts folks! Street vendors sell paper (sometimes newspaper) cones filled with roasted chestnuts. Trattorias will often make chestnut polenta and serve it sausage (produced in nearby locations), with parmesan or with just a bit of white truffle.
- Fondue with white truffles
Fondue is typically made with a mixture of Fontina cheese (which is produced in the region of Piedmont) butter and eggs; but during truffle season, it gets kicked up a notch with white truffle shavings. From October to November, you’re sure to find delectable dishes such as eggs with white truffles (called uova tartufata) and carpaccio with truffles at restaurants in Alba during their truffle festival.
- Chard with beans
If you’re looking for some serious comfort food, try chard and beans cooked in a tomato sauce. It’s a typical comfort dish served when the weather gets cold; southern Italians take the matter a bit further by adding meat balls (polpettine) to the soup. Savory vegetable pies are famously made in Liguria; chard is not excluded in their list of pie ingredients, so if you’re in Liguria, try their famous chard pie!
- Vin brulé
Vin brulé, also known as mulled wine, is spiced red wine. It’s served hot because the goal is to warm you up when it’s cold.. and what better way to enjoy such deliciousness? With roasted chestnuts, of course!