We admit it – when it comes to American pastimes, grilling is one activity that remains unrivaled. Not even we Italians will deny that!
While Italy doesn't have dedicated grilling holidays like Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, it does have its own unique traditions of the flame. Usually taking place in the summertime paired with good wine and good company, Italians enjoy grilling in a variety of ways. So what will you find on la griglia Italiana? Read on to discover 6 ways to grill like an Italian this summer.
6 ways to grill like an Italian
START WITH THE BEST.
Rule numero uno to grilling the Italian way? Choose the best, high-quality meat, fish, vegetables that you can find to start. Italians typically don't use barbecue sauces and complicated marinades, preferring to let the natural flavors of the ingredients shine. For this reason, it's essential that the main ingredient you are throwing on the flame is the best of the best!
GO BEYOND HAMBURGERS.
What kinds of ingredients will you find on an Italian grill? We like to grill, well, just about anything! From sausages and steaks to seafood and summer vegetables, we're not shy when it comes to flame-cooked ingredients. In other words: if you want to grill like an Italian go beyond hamburgers and hotdogs!
PUT IT ON A SPIEDO.
Spiedini, or "skewers," are a popular way of grilling throughout Italy, from north to south. Small pieces of meat, fish, vegetables, and even cheese are skewered on a spiedo, or "stick," and then cooked over a flame. The result? Delicious, easy-to-eat grilled bites! You can get creative with making spiedini at home by mixing and matching your favorite ingredients or simply pick up some ready-to-grill skewers prepared by our butchers at our meat counter.
When it comes to seasonings, Italians like to keep it simple. Finish grilled meats, fish, and vegetables with a drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. The olive oil helps to coat the palate and add moisture to the charred proteins and vegetables, while the sea salt brings out the natural flavors and adds a crunchy texture to each bite. You can also rub the meat with a few sprigs of fresh herbs, such as rosemary or oregano, and then serve them alongside for an elegant garnish.
Whether you're the grill master behind the fire, or just a guest standing by the sidelines, make sure the grill party is well-equipped with plenty of chilling essentials. Prepare herb-infused liquors ahead of time for an easy garden cocktail, and don't forget to pick up a few bottles of wine to pair with your grilled creations.
END ON A SWEET NOTE.
Every important Italian meal ends with a dolce. Pick up some fresh fruit such as peaches or pineapple, cut them in half, and grill away! The heat from the grill extracts water from the fruit, leaving behind concentrated, intensely sweet flavors. Want to really win the hearts of your cookout guests? Top the fruit with a scoop of fior di latte gelato, which perfectly accents the fruity flavors. Here's a recipe from our head pastry chef to get you started. You can thank us later.