It's easy to love good food, and it's even easier when it's Italian! If you enjoy cooking or eating (both equally important parts of foodie-life), there's a good chance you are acquainted and maybe even in a romantic relationship with an Italian gastronomic charm! Who wouldn't be? The great precision of melding flavors takes a deft hand and nearly-scientific approach - Italian food is in the league of its own.
Italian cuisine has become synonymous with hearty meals and heart-warming gatherings, a delicious & welcoming atmosphere that can transcend cultural borders, even more so if you’re shopping online. Its superpowers include irresistible pizza and pasta, but beyond lay a kaleidoscope of regional goodies, unique renditions of fabled traditional dishes that call for specially curated grocery lists. So, today, we're determined to tell you more about the top 10 must-haves from our Italian grocery store online that will add a burst of flavors to your creations and make you say "Gustoso!" - we got that from Think In Italian, a gourmand Italian language coach with whom learning this beautiful language is just a piece of cake - or should we say Torta?! Stefano's website has helped us master the nitty-gritty of Italian food culture, as you can probably already tell by the frequency we throw around words like Antipasti, Primo Piatto, or Secondo Piatto in our blogs. So, if you’re determined to spice up your Italian, you know just where to start. And, spicing up your pantry with an Italian flair is definitely on us. If you’re ready, let’s jump right in on our list, shall we?
Let's Start With the Basics: Meet Italian 00 Flour
Most of the cherished and popular dishes from Italian cuisine call for flour - yep, we're looking at you pizza and pasta! So, it's only natural that Italian flour is one of the essential items on a typical grocery list. But, there's a complex grading system you should keep in mind when browsing through our online selection. Italian flour is graded by various characteristics, and the level of refinement is one of them. You'll meet type 0,1, 2, and even W180, W270, W350, but it's double zero, or as they say in Italian, Doppio Zero flour you should go for, and here are all of the reasons why. Italian 00 flour is the finest milled flour that beautifully holds up to a higher temperature. It yields unbelievably thin, soft dough and a perfectly crunchy crust. So, it's ideal for delicate handmade egg pasta (if you're ready for that kind of labor of love), pastry, and, of course, its highness classic Italian pizza, too! That's why can-do-it-all Italian 00 flour has a separate, carefully curated selection!
Premium Italian Olive Oil
Italians don't hold back when it comes to EVOO, and you shouldn't either! As a matter of fact, it's the only item on a typical Italian grocery list that you must splurge on - trust us, the gourmet investment can make or break your dish. Italy's liquid gold is deemed one of the premium quality oils around the globe, so you know you're getting your hands on something spectacularly good. Italians get the best out of it, too - not only do they use it for cooking mind-blowingly delicious traditional meals, but EVOO serves as an appetizer and preservative, too.
To get the authentic Italian aromas without boarding a plane, you can shop by the D.O.P. labels - a government's certification to ensure the product's origin. So, whether it's a delicate pepperiness you're looking for, grassy aroma, or craving something more on a floral side of the taste spectrum, we're sure you can find it all in our collection of Italian olive oil!
Superstar of the Italian Condiments Category - Balsamic Vinegar
Being the elusive ingredient it is, balsamic vinegar is a worldwide famous Italian condiment, sought-after for its acidic sweetness and syrupy consistency. The Italian elixir of flamboyance dates back to the 11th century of the Emilia-Romagna and Modena regions, first created as a noble gift for the Roman Emperor. The classic, centuries-old Italian condiment is still made in birthplaces, so if you're keen on savoring the original, you should look for the pretty label on the bottle - calling out I.G.P. preserved balsamic vinegar of Modena. It's made with whole pressed grapes, and we mean everything from stems to fruit juice. The cooked must is fermented for three weeks and further concentrated for a minimum of 12 years of aging. It's best used at the end of the cooking as a finishing flavoring agent. However, it makes a delightful add-in to classic Italian risotto, grilled meats, and seafood. With just a drizzle on your plate, you can treat yourself to the unique bouquet of flavors - now, that's something we can't refuse!
Nothing Can Top Italian Torrone!
That's a factual statement, by the way! Ask any Italian, torrone is a definite must-have for the holiday season, but it also makes a delightful addition to your everyday me-time treats. Italian nougat confection dates back to the 15th century Cremona, where it was created for the royal wedding of the Duke of Milan. The nutty delight was shaped after the city's central tower, hence the nickname.
The word about torrone spread quickly, and neighboring regions took turns perfecting their own renditions, but there are two main varieties you need to know about. Soft, morbido torrone, loved for its sticky sweetness and crunchy type. The latter is usually enjoyed by dipping in a cup of coffee or steaming hot chocolate. Of course, both of them can be found in our digital aisle of Italian torrone. We can’t resist the urge, they are too good to be only enjoyed once a year!
Indulgently Crispy - Italian Cookies!
Italian breakfast doesn't get as much recognition as it deserves! They are breaking all the breakfast rules in the most delicious way possible - Italians eat crunchy, nutty cookies early in the morning, and there's no shame in it! They don't make a big deal out of the morning routine, and here's why. The energy spent on making the best breakfast omelet or waffles is preserved for enjoying suspiciously addictive cookies. YUM! And, they have myriads to choose from, too. Almondy soft amaretti or classic cantuccini, ideal for dipping in a cup of coffee? It's nearly impossible to pick a favorite. Feel free to roam through our luscious digital aisle of Italian cookies, and, to save you some time, we're going to say just this one thing - Mulino Bianco is one of the favorite cookie brands in the country for a reason!
Team Them Up with Italian Coffee!
Italian cookies + Italian coffee = the perfect match! The country has a centuries-old heritage of coffee-making - all of our favorite brews, such as Espresso, Cappuccino, and Marocchino, hail from Italy! To indulge yourself like a true Italian, you have to pair your cuppa joe with the breakfast cookies we just talked about. However, that's not the end of the coffee routine.
In Italy, there's a whole il galateo del caffè, aka coffee etiquette, that you have to be mindful of. It's true; rules sometimes are meant to be broken, but never when it comes to Italian coffee. Traditional Italian breakfast includes Cappuccino since it's perfectly filling for early mornings, but you can't get it after lunchtime. However, Espresso is the one ubiquitous treat that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. So, like a true Italian, cleanse your palate with a couple of sips of water, choose your favorite from our selection of aromatic Italian coffee, and indulge!
The Nation's Favorite - Tomatoes!
Tomatoes have been an inseparable part of the Italian culinary tradition for five centuries now! After its initial success in Naples, the word about perfectly juicy, rustic red fruit spread and conquered the whole boot of the peninsula, and by the 19th century, it had become one of the go-to pairings for pasta. The country is home to myriads of unique tomato varieties, such as San Marzano, Pachino, Pisanello, and Abruzzo - each of them having their delicious peculiarity. The abundance of Italian tomatoes results from the country's volcanic soil and excellent climatic conditions. So when we say there are no regular tomatoes in Italy, know that it's true! In our extensive collection of Italian tomatoes, you will find everything from traditional Italian passata sauce to sun-dried cherry tomatoes in premium EVOO to add signature Mediterranean flavors to your dishes!
And, Of Course, Italian Cheese!
When shopping like a true Italian or stocking a fridge with authentic Mediterranean flavors, there's one thing you have to get right - traditional cheese. If Italian gastronomy were a family, cheese would definitely be a favorite child. The country is home to over 2500 traditional varieties, and, no, it's not a typo - check Wikipedia! With more than 500 types produced commercially, it's safe to say that there's a luxury of choice, which obviously leads to a lot of confusion - which is the best for you?! Well, it's hard to tailor Italian cheese to every individual, but we're ready to recommend the most versatile one. While it might not be the first one to spring to mind, creamy soft Mozzarella di Bufala is much more versatile than one would expect. You've probably tasted its mild aroma and pleasantly creamy flavors while indulging in traditional pizza, but its superpowers go beyond. It tastes unexpectedly delicious with a drizzle of premium Italian EVOO, coarse sea salt, and basil leaves. Perfect for sandwiches, risotto, timballo, and arancini, Mozzarella is a truly fuss-free cheese, ready to conquer hearts and palates!
Seriously Italian Chocolate For Any Time of The Day!
There's no wrong time or wrong way to enjoy fine Italian chocolate; you just break yourself a piece and indulge! The country has centuries of history creating unique chocolate treats, such as cremino, gianduja, or Gianduiotto pralines - all born in Turin. So, it's rightfully deemed as the capital of chocolate-making. Italians cherish their chocolate no matter the occasion - Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, or Easter, everything is celebrated with chocolate. Even Italian hot chocolate is uniquely delicious. So, as one would expect, our extensive collection of Italian chocolate includes all the Italian worldwide-famous brands, such as Baci Perugina, Caffarel, and Venchi! We know it's hard to work your way through myriads of crave-worthy delights, but just know, for bolstering your choco-collection, dark Italian chocolate will do a terrific job!
Quench Your Thirst With Italian Soda!
Soda is the epitome of Italian summer, even more appreciated during the winter times! Italian soda is an eye-catching bright and fizzy drink that conquered the palates of people of all ages. Despite its name, it doesn't have a lot in common with ordinary fizzy drinks we are all familiar with - it's caffeine-free. So, be sure that Italian soda is more bubbly and flavorful than ho-hums in your corner shop. The effervescent nostalgia-infused drink carries childhood flavors that you will want to keep in an arm's reach once you give it a taste. And, lucky for us all, the flavor range is out of this world, too - blood orange, Chinotto, Bitter Rosso, and classic Limonata, these are only a few! So, take a look at our selection of Italian soda, and let us know which one is your favorite flavor!
So, we guess you must be a little bit hungry after meeting all of the Italian staples. Lucky for you, we have all the gourmet treats for our loyal readers, professionals, and home-cooks in our Italian grocery store online! Everything you need, including the hard to come by artisanal products you once tried on your trip to Italy, is just a click away. Explore now and discover your new favorite flavors with Yummy Bazaar!