Discover Diverse Italian Food

Italian-dishes-that-give-a-whole-new-meaning-to-a-taste-of-ItalyItalian food in the U.S. has come a long way from watery spaghetti by the light of a raffi-wrapped Chianti-bottle candle. Americans have come to realize that pasta is not the only course; that like much traditional food, Italian food is about fresh ingredients and time. However, most Italian restaurants only serve staples like chicken Marsala and veal scallopini. If you want to move beyond restaurant Italian food, you’ll need to take matters into your own hands. Here are three unique Italian dishes you’ll only get by traveling to Italy or trying it at home.

Brovada e Muset

Fermented Turnips Italian Style
Image Credit: Pinterest

Originating from the northeastern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, first-generation Italian-American Michael Canzian describes this traditional peasant dish as “a deliciously succulent boiled sausage.” It’s a Christmas tradition and great on a cold winter’s evening. This dish shows off the Austrian influence in the Friuli region that was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Brovada is the side dish of fermented white turnips mashed in red grape pomace. You probably don’t have easy access to pomace, but you can use “wine flour” or grape skin powder mixed with good red wine. The muset is the thick pork sausage that you boil. You can shop around for the authentic thing, or find your closest alternative.


Italian Fish Stew
Image Credit: Pinterest

Finding the ingredients for brovada e muset may make a trip to Italy seem like the easy option. So if you’re looking for something that you could serve up without much forethought, turn to cacciucco. The original dish behind the American classic cioppino, Italian fishermen would cook this dish up with whatever fish they had left over from the day’s catch. Try it with squid and shellfish or whatever fresh fish is available. The stew is based in tomato sauce with sage and garlic. Another great fall and winter dish that will warm you through.


Canederli al Sugo

Finally, another comfort food influenced by Austria and Switzerland from the northern region of Trentino-Alto Adige. Canederli are dumplings made from leftover bread, eggs and milk. You can add cheese, spices or diced smoked ham to add more flavor. The little golf-ball-sized dumplings are boiled in broth and can be served in the broth or scoop them out of the broth and cover in melted butter.

From difficult and time-consuming to something you can whip up on a weeknight, why not try one of these Italian dishes that give a whole new meaning to “a taste of Italy”?

How to Find the Best Cafe Near Your Apartment

 How-to-Find-the-Best-Cafe-Near-Your-ApartmentA nice cafe is something that every apartment should be near.  The availability of affordable coffee, the calming atmosphere, and the ability to sit and work while you enjoy both of these is irreplaceable.  Unfortunately, when you move, it can take some time to find the best spot near you.

If you want the relaxation and fun that comes with a great cafe, here are the best ways to find a premium spot near you!

Talk to Locals

Ask people in your area, whether it’s your apartment neighbors or coworkers, if you work in the area, and try to get a word-of-mouth recommendation.  These recommendations are usually the best because they ensure that this person may be someone you can trust.

If you want to kick it up a notch and make a friend in the process, you can invite the locals to go with you!  Getting to go with someone who’s been there before can help you feel more comfortable there and will allow you to make a connection with someone near your new home.

If you get mixed messages from a few different people, you may have to try a few for yourself to be sure.

Try Out A Selection

This can be fun, as long as nobody’s food makes you ill and the prices are affordable.  Try to go to a different local café once a week, and get to know the options. Then, to be more in-depth, take notes about what you like about each of them.

After you’ve been to four or five options, compare and look at what you liked or disliked about each cafe.  If you were thorough with your notes, a clear winner should come out ahead!  If not, try to narrow it down by visiting each of your top three again.

If you end up unsure and unable to make a clear choice, you could split your attention between your top three options!  Rotating which you go to can be fun, and it supports more local businesses!  Although it’s fun to think about having a set cafe you go to every time, it’s okay if you don’t.

Look At Reviews Online

If you took the time to look at apartments in Charleston, SC, before settling on one: you can take the time to shop around for cafes.  Take a few minutes and look at reviews on Yelp or Google Reviews to try and check out which eateries speak to you.

Of course, there can be some false reviews, but if you notice that every review is negative, that’s not a good sign.  Dig through the local options to find an option that’s affordable, has good vibes, and has coffee and food that’s appealing to you.  

If working at the cafe is important to you, try to find reviews about their wifi connection to ensure you’ll be able to complete your job while you enjoy some food and coffee.  If you find one that you love, leave a review as well!  This can help any future searchers who have the same questions you did.

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