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10 Ways to Summer Like an Italian

10 Ways to Summer Like an Italian

Summer is here, ushering in hot sunny days, endless outdoor adventures, and festive gatherings with friends and family!

Our summer mantra?  JUST CHILL and embrace your inner Italian to the fullest. Here are 10 ways to summer like an Italian at Eataly Chicago!

1. SEASON SIMPLY.

When it comes to creating a dish, we Italians prefer to use just a few high-quality ingredients prepared simply, allowing the natural flavors to speak for themselves. Think about it: Caprese salad is just tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, finished with extra virgin olive oil and salt! We couldn't think of a better way to chill out this summer than to keep things simple and cook with a list of ingredients that we can count on one hand. Find farm-fresh ingredients in our marketplace, then finish your creations with a pinch of sea salt and a drizzle high-quality extra virgin olive oil. You'll be amazed at the incredible flavors of Mother Nature.

2. COOL OFF WITH A SWEET TREAT.

During the summer months, it's not uncommon for Italians to take an afternoon break with a merenda, or "snack," usually a few scoops of gelato! Explore the many flavors of our artisanal housemade gelato at our gelato bar, or try something new with a taste of our signature affogato (your choice of gelato with a shot of espresso poured on top). Looking for something lighter? Made fresh daily, our ghiaccioli (think: Italian popsicles) have only a few ingredients: water, fresh fruit, and sugar. Believe us when we say: they're the best way to get your fruit intake on a hot day!

3. PUT IT ON A STICK. 

The warm summer days have us craving the outdoors! For those sunny grilling days, skewer small pieces of meat, vegetables, fish, and cheese for an easy-to-grill and easy-to-eat meal. Keep it simple (and easy!) by picking up our ready-to-grill spiedini at our butcher counter, or try them in our restaurants! Alternate pieces of mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes on a skewer for a portable Caprese, or embrace your inner child while still adulting with our refreshing ghiaccioli popsicles. Save your fork and knife for another occasion!

4. THINK RAW.

On those days when it's too hot to turn on the oven or when you simply don't feel like cooking, we have the perfect solution. Our marketplace is full of no-cook items that can be enjoyed raw (think: oysters, prosciutto crudo, fresh melon, and more). No air conditioning at home? Come enjoy the cool air with us at our restaurants! Ciao ciao oven, see you next winter!

5. PACK A PICNIC.

We Italians never travel too far without food, so no matter where you're headed this summer, be sure to bring a snack! Visit our Salumi & Formaggi counter and ask our cheesemongers for the best picnic-ready meats and cheeses, then bring home your favorites. Complete your picnic basket with a few bottles of Italian sodas made with the simplest ingredients, or a bottle of wine from our wine shop (park laws permitting). Still not sure? Become a picnic pro with our guide.

6. DRINK AL NATURALE.

When we asked our beverage experts what we should be drinking this summer, they told us to sip natural.  So, over the next few months, you'll find us sporting biodynamic wines kissed by Mother Nature and botanical cocktails that make us feel like we're drinking a garden. Want to get a taste? Toast to summer with our chilled happy hour featuring specially priced natural wines and cocktails, then try infusing your own spirits at home!

7. GET YOUR (SUMMER) TRUFFLE ON.

Think truffles are only for the fall and winter months? Think again. More subtle than their white winter cousins, Italian black summer truffles are only harvested during the summer months, as their name suggests. How can you enjoy these delights this season? Grate them atop burgers or steaks at your next cookout or treat yourself to a luxurious breakfast by whipping them into your scrambled eggs.

8. RETHINK SALAD.

While we enjoy lettuce-based salads from time to time, we simply cannot deny our love of pasta. No matter the season, we Italians enjoy this staple almost every day, even in the hot summer months. Enter: pasta salad. Try this fusilli freddi recipe (perfect for lunch al desko), and then explore other non-leafy salad variations such as Caprese or a panzanella bread salad!

9. TAKE YOUR TASTE BUDS TO THE SEA.

Even if you're not at the beach, you can still enjoy the salty flavors of the sea. Try one of our many seafood dishes at Il Pesce, or stop by our seafood counter to have a chat with our fishmongers. Our selection of fresh, sustainable fish is all you need to feel like you're sitting beachside.

10. DON'T FORGET TO CHILL. 

We said it once, and we'll say it again: just chill! Embrace summer the Italian way by simply savoring the present moment - everything else can wait until tomorrow (or until winter).

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Happy summer!