Italian Food Places – Osteria, Trattoria or Else?

italian food tour trattoria pizzeria

Useful tips about Italian Food Places

Planning a trip to Italy? When you check the recommendation sites or a travel guidebook, you may be confused about the variety of different terms that are used for Italian food places. One good solution is always to come with us on a Food Hopping Food Tour Italy – our guides love to explain the terms with amusing details, and you’ll taste the best local choice!

As a little upfront preparation, here’s a short introduction to Italian food places.

Types of Italian Food Places

Best known from Italian Food places abroad is the term Pizzeria. When you visit a Pizzeria in Italy, it is usually a modest place where they offer a large selection of pizzas, but usually other dishes, too, often for take-away as well. You can also have a drink and a dessert there – but don’t expect fancy decorations or linen tablecloths.

The same is with the Spaghetteria, they specialize in pasta dishes of all kinds, but also have other dishes on the menu.

A Caffè or Bar is basically the living room of the Italians. Here they eat their (usually frugal) breakfast, read the newspaper, have a chat, watch football, in between always a “caffè” and in the evening the “Aperitivo” drink before dinner. And all this usually standing at the counter, not sitting. They serve several beverages and often also small sweet or salty snacks, even some pasta dishes.

A Vineria or Enoteca is a wine bar, with a wide selection of national and international wines and various snacks. You can expect more knowledge and recommendations about wines here, often they sell the wines to taste there, or also the bottles to take home with you.

The Birreria is like a beer pub, serving drinks, simple dishes and also pizza. It is a popular meeting point, often with loud music, to start a night out.

The Osteria was originally a tavern where you could bring your own food, and buy the drinks from the bartender. Today it is “the inn around the corner”, where there are simple food and abundant drinks at fair prices.

A Rosticceria is rather a kind of snack bar than a restaurant. During regular store opening hours, you get hot and cold – mostly fried or grilled – food for takeaway or eat at instance.

The Trattoria is a simple restaurant, serving regional dishes at affordable prices. As well, there is usually a daily menu with choices of four complete courses. It is quite popular to have a business lunch option there, so this places are filled with office workers during lunch time.

A Ristorante is a proper dining place with full menu choice, from antipasti -starters, primo – often pasta – and secondo – the main dish – to dessert, coffee and digestive. This is the place to go for a family celebration or to spoil your partner on a date night…

Salumerias are originally a shop to buy cold cuts, salami, ham and cheese. Today, they often serve tasting platters to eat at the spot, together with some pairing wines – like a delicatessen shop.

A Paninoteca offers a wide selection of so-called “panini caldi”. The hot buns are covered with salami, cheese or ham and garnished with vegetables or salad. In addition, there are also toast -focacce – or “Pizza al taglio” Slices of Pizza with different toppings that they heat up when you order it. A good place for a quick snack on the go.

On the Sweet Side – more Italian Food Places

Following up to the sweet side, a Pasticceria is a pastry shop, where you can usually enjoy a cup of coffee or a hot chocolate and taste the delicious pastries and cakes.

And last but not least there is the Gelateria, the famous ice cream parlor, offering a multitude of different ice creams. The Italian ice cream is considered the best in the world, its production almost as an art and the recipes closely guarded secrets. Usually you order first the desired size of ice-cream by price at the cashier, and go then with the receipt to the counter to order the tastes you like. In addition, in most gelaterias there is the “granita” – a slushy, wonderfully refreshing sorbet ice drink, flavoured with mint, fresh lemon or fruit sirup.

Did you enjoy this overview of Italian food places?
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Food Traditions of the Easter holidays

Food Hopping Food Tour Easter traditionsIn the northern hemisphere, the Easter holidays, apart from the important religious meaning, mark the arrival of spring and the beginning of the warm and fertile season. Therefore, ancient heritage, christian rites and cultural traditions play still a strong role in today’s  celebrations. The holiday is connected to several food customs, preparing special food and sharing with family and friends.

Festive Easter food in Italy

Buona pascua! In Italy, in particular in the southern parts, impressive church parades mark the holy week. As Good Friday isn’t a bank holiday, celebrations in the family start Friday evening and go till Monday. On Good Friday’s dinner, fish and light dishes are preferred. In Sicily, colourful candied almonds are a typical easter snack during the processions. At our Food Tour Palermo, your Food Hopping guide is happy to show you some of the places where the parades take place.
Children in Italy love their chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday – usually a big, egg shaped chocolate, brightly wrapped in foil and filled with small toys. The big Easter Sunday lunch is often a veritable family feast, for hours and with multiple food courses. Lamb is a favourite, and as the dessert, there is a typical Easter cake called Colomba – Dove. On Easter Monday, called Pasquetta – little Easter – a must-try is the Torta di Pasquetta, a hearty pastry filled with ricotta, spinach and eggs.

Colourfull Easter parades in Spain

Felices pascuas! Spain has a rich tradition of celebrating the Easter week with colourfull religious parades. Especially in Madrid and in Andalucia, traditional Penitence brotherhoods pursue the century-old traditions. At our Food Tour Malaga, we actually visit a special place related to the celebrations all year long!
On Good Friday, according to the catholic rite, no meat is served – so chickpea stew or dishes made of salt cod are very common food. A famous Easter dish are the torrijas, made of white bread, soaked in milk and sugar, than fried. It is similar to French toast. La Mona de Pascua is a sweet bread-like pastry with an egg put in the middle – in the past it was a plain hard-boiled egg, today the Easter bread is often adorned with chocolate eggs and fondant or marzipan. Also in Spain, family and friends love to gather to watch the processions – live or at the television – and feast afterwards to end the lent period and welcome spring.

Easter-egg search in Germany

“Frohe Ostern!” Church processions are still existing in mainly catholic regions of Germany, and are no part of the protestant rite.  All Germans, however, love to decorate their homes for spring and eat colourfull chocolates in Easter-related forms. It is very common to gift chocolate bunnys, creme-filled eggs or chocolate ladybugs to your family, friends and even working collegues. Hard boiled eggs, coloured by the children, are typical festive food. Our Food Tour Frankfurt samples a particular dish from the Hesse region, typical to eat on Gründonnerstag – green thursday – as the beginning of the long Easter weekend, with bank holiday on Friday and Monday: Grüne Soße, a deliciously fresh, cold herb-dairy-cream. It is quite common to eat fish and no sweets on Good Friday, then to have on Easter Sunday an extensive lunch, or a combined breakfast/lunch in the family called “brunch“. German children love to search for sweets and hard boiled coloured eggs, hidden for them by the Osterhase – Easter rabbit. Easter cakes are typically either of yeast dough shaped as rabbits or in form of a knot with a hole in the middle to fit a hard boiled egg, or a sweet sponge cake, baked in a special lamb-shaped form.

Our Food Hopping Frankfurt, Malaga or Palermo, as well as our other Food Tours, invite you to learn more about the local food-related traditions on a leisurely walk through the heart of the city – during the festive season, or for your holidays. Hungry for more?

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Spain’s sweet side – almonds and oranges

Food Hopping Food Tour Spain sweet treatsThe Spaniards love to be on the sweet side of live! When it comes to sweet treats, they don´t spare with milk, sugar, nuts and eggs. Spices like cinnamon, cloves and a tangy hint of citrus fruits often add a slightly exotic flavour that brings back memories of spanish summer days.

Sweet Spanish pastry

Any Spanish pastry shop is filled with glazed or powdered small treats, beautifully decorated and irresistibly sweet in taste. It is quite common to bring a selection of bite-sized cakes when invited at a friends home for lunch or dinner.

A famous cake throughout Spain is the “Tarta de Santiago” or almond cake. It is made of butter, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and ground white almond – no flour added. This cake is a tradition from the northern Galicia region, powdered with confectioners sugar with a sign of the cross of Santiago spared out. With or without the sugared cross, almond cake is a favourite around Spain.

Another very popular sweet treat are the “Churros”. Its possible to eat those deep-fried dough pastries anytime of the day -they are offered in bars, bakeries and special Churro posts, where they are fried in the moment. Often they are accompanied with a thick, creamy sweet hot chocolate to dip in. This uplifting delicacy is popular to enjoy even late at night or in the early morning of a night out, and also at new years eve.

Spanish sweet and fruity cream desserts

Described already in medieval cooking books, the “Crema Catalana” is a delicious egg and cream custard with a slight orange aroma and crunchy burned caramel on top. Originated in the Catalunia region, it is served everywhere in Spain today, there is even an ice-cream and cake fillings with the same taste.

Popular family-meal desserts are “Arroz con Leche” and “Flan” – the first, a thick rice pudding spiced with cinnamon and orange zest, the latter an egg and caramel pudding.
Originating from the Moorish times of Spain, creative sorbets and frozen desserts also have a long tradition. Remarkable are the Almond Sorbet from the Balearic Islands, or Orange Sorbet made of the juicy oranges from Valencia.

Candied almond and fried sweets in Spain

A seasonal speciality for Easter time are the “Torríjas”. Loafs of white bread, soaked with a mix of egg, milk and sugar, deep-fried and covered with cinnamon sugar – doesn´t that sound like a proper lent-time dish?

“Turrón” and “Polvorones” are two sweets mainly eaten during the christmas season. Turrón is made of candied sugar/honey and nuts, in different combinations, sometimes adding dried fruits or chocolate. It is originated from the moorish times – in English, there is a similar sweet called “Turkish Delight”. Polvorones are small, very crumbly cookies made of flour, sugar, almonds and pork lard. Sounds strange, but the taste is surprisingly mellow.

Famous sweet wines of Spain

To close a meal, a fortified wine from Jerez “Sherry” or Malaga, often with some dry fruits and/or cheese, is another delicious addon to this mouthwatering list of spanish sweet treats.

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Sorrent – Where the lemons grow on the rocks

Food Hopping Food Tour Sorrent lemon vendorSorrent – the city of azure sea and sky, golden sun and lemons, cradled by the gulf of Naples. Within sight of the Vesuvius volcano, the beautiful islands of Capri and Ischia, this small town is favoured by nature. Since centuries ago, it incorporates the romantic dream of Italy for painters and poets as well as for vacationers.

Sorrent – a name from ancient times

The name of Sorrent lies in mystical times. The legend says that ere the sirens waited for sailors to distract them, unless Odysseus and his crew managed to defeat them. Historically assured is the founding of the city by the Phoenicians in the 7th century a.d.. After a Greek period, it became a roman municipal, since then summer residence of the wealthy and powerful.

Sorrent – famous for the lemons

The gulf of Naples and the Amalfi coastline are famous for their romantic sunsets and their juicy lemons. The citrus fruits are everywhere here: growing in gardens, piled up at market stalls, deliciously prepared in a variety of delicate sweet-sour treats like Lemon Cake, Limoncello, Granita…during our tour, we explore some of the best preparations.

The small cozy alleyways and coveted backyards are full of small shops, fruit vendors, old craft shops and surprising beautiful sights. It is a delight to explore, and your Food Tour guide knows the best places and amusing anecdotes.

Sorrent – rocky cliffs and green country

In the lush greens of the back country is the key to another local gem: abundant pasture for cows and buffaloes. So be a referee at our little private taste competition: what tastes better, the cow’s milk mozzarella („Fior di Latte“) or the buffalo mozzarella („Mozzarella bufala“)?
In small family dairy shops, those tasty milky white orbs are fresh made by hand every day.
For the hearty hunger, Sorrent has more to offer: the regions most famous food, the Pizza, also rolls deep here. Made by the meter, with a thin crispy crust and best fresh toppings, it is a must-try at any time.

Sorrent – Pizza, Pasta, Limoncello

Of course, in Sorrent we are also in Pasta heaven: every cook is proud of his or her handmade fresh pasta dough. The fresh pasta has a very short cooking time, and is mixed at the moment with chopped garden vegetables and a dash of native olive oil for consciously sinful pleasures.
Any meal should end with a sweet delicacy – here, of course with the emblematic citrus fruits involved, as a half-frozen dessert or as the sun-coloured Limoncello liqueur.

So what are you waiting for?
Come to Sorrent and explore its delights with a

Food Hopping Sorrento Food Tour!

Germany and its Culinary Landscape

Food Hopping Food Tour Germany culinary landscapeGermany is a parade example in terms of impressive cultural achievements, famous historical sights and beautiful landscapes, as well as one of the most advanced economies in Europe.  Great musicians like Beethoven, Bach or Wagner, famous poets and writers like Goethe, the Grimm brothers, Brecht, style-forming painters like Duerer, Rubens, Klee – all were Germans. And who does not know the emblematic Schloss Neuschwanstein, the Kölner Dom or the Berliner Brandenburger Tor?

Germany – the landscapes

From the Baltic sea coastline in the north to the valleys of the Alps in the south, you`ll pass rivers like the Rhine and the Donau, extended woods, rich agricultural lands as well as numerous city areas. Hosting all kinds of industry from production over high-tech to services and banking. With the European Central Bank located in Frankfurt am Main, this country is a motor of the European progress.

Germany – Culinary specialities

When it comes to food, Germany has the fame to prefer rustic, filling meals with sausages, stews, sauerkraut and pretzel being the emblematic components.

Sweet bakery goods like Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte, Obstkuchen or Windbeutel, the rich varieties of bread and cold cuts are admired worldwide. This is all traditionally true and still a good portion of the German diet in general.

However, every region of the country has its own specialities that they are proud of. Fresh vegetables, creative soups, colourful salads and a growing offer of vegetarian and healthy food styles add to the culinary landscape. Not to forget that Germany is an immigration country – even in the smallest town you find usually at least an Italian, Near Eastern and an Asian restaurant. Germans are curious and love to travel the world – on their vacation and on their plates at home.

Germany – Beer and wine

The German “Reinheitsgebot“ limits the allowed ingredients of beer to hops, malt, yeast and water – in order to ensure a superior quality of product. There are more than 1400 breweries in Germany, and beer tasting is a serious social activity. The wines from the Rhine and the Mosel valleys are in millennial tradition from times of the Roman Empire, and young winemakers experiment with new grapes and maturation methods, to create a growing community of German wine fans. Remarkable is also the Apfelwein, a dry apple cider from the Hesse region.

With our Food Hopping Walking Food Tours in Germany, you will not only taste the regional traditional food and drinks as well as modern interpretations, but also discover the diverting tales around the food, the drinks and the region you are visiting. See you soon with

Food Hopping Germany Food Tours!

Tasty New Year 2018

Food Hopping Food Tour New Year In everything that ends also lies a new beginning…
We are very happy for the new year 2018 to start with our shiny new Food Hopping tours in several european cities – like Barcelona, Madrid, Frankfurt, Berlin and many more!
We wish all of you a wonderful New Years Eve and a Happy New Year 2018. May all your wishes come true!

Merry Christmas 2018!

Food Hopping Food Tours merry christmasAn exciting year full of tasty experiences comes to an end…
The whole team of Food Hopping Food Tours wants to thank you for your passion and trust in us – we wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas!
Frohe Weihnachten aus Deutschland!
Feliz Navidad a España!
Buon Natale a Italia!
Happy Holidays to the world!

 

10 good reasons for a Food Hopping tour

Food Hopping Food Tour good reasons groupThere are several good reasons to explore a new place by its food: Who else likes to discover new taste sensations when travelling?
How about doing a Food Hopping Tour on your next vacation?
Every city and region has its own food specialities and traditions.

Good reasons to travel and explore

As a traveller, it isn’t always easy to find the best places in a new town to try and discover the best food like the locals do.
With Food Hopping, it is easy to jump into the local culinaric scene and to enjoy new experiences on your palate without worries.

Do you ask yourself, what are the advantages of a guided Food Hopping Walking Food Tour during your vacation?

Here’s our top 10 of good reasons

10 – Discover hidden places like cozy restaurants, rustic taverns , insider-tips and family-run shops apart of the beaten tracks.

09 – Savour food like a multi-course meal, ranging from from appetizer to dessert.

08 – Taste authentic cuisine, famous dishes and surprising flavours the locals adore.

07 – Explore a new location with every tasting, discovering the regional culinaric landscape.

06 – Meet the locals, learn from food and drink specialists about their regional traditions and interact with the people of the neighbourhood.

05 – Get to know the city without getting lost, as every tour is designed as a convenient round-trip.

04 – Enjoy amusing anecdotes around the food you try, the city and their people.

03 – Let yourself be treated with surprising extras and local ‘secrets’.

02 – Follow the confident lead of your enthusiastic local Food Hopping guide, who knows the city inside out.

01 – Have a great time during an entertaining walk with pleasant memories and interesting stories to tell your friends at home!

Hungry for more? See you soon ao a Food Tour in Germany, Italy, Spain or selected European cities:

Food Hopping Food Tours!

Celebrating Saint Nicholas

Just bFood Hopping Food Tours Saint Nicholasefore christmas, we’re celebrating Saint Nicholas Day in many countries to honour the christian bishop from the 4th century, who used his inheritance to help the sick, the suffering and the needy. However, there are different customs to celebrate this day in various countries, like Germany, Italy or Spain.

Saint Nicholas in German tradition

In Germany, St. Nikolaus is an important part of the christmas season. The evening before the 6th of december, children put their boots in front of the door and hope that Saint Nicholas comes and fills it up with nuts, oranges and sweets. In many families, he even appears in person to ask the children if they were nice or naughty during the year. There are traditional songs, that the children sing to Saint Nicholas in order to prove their goodness. It is also a widespread custom to gift figures, made of chocolate, to friends and family.

Italian Saint Nicholas celebrations

In Italy, Santa Nicholas is known as gift-giver and protector of the children – today, his tradition is also referred to the more secular Babbo Natale. Children leave a plate with a letter on the table, where they ask for gifts and promise to be good next year. The next day, they find sweets and fruits – a naughty child could also get a peace of coal, made of coloured sugar.

Saint Nicholas day in Spain

In Spain, December 6th is even a bank holiday – but not for Santa Nicholas, but to remember the day of the constitution in Spain! The main Christmas period in Spain starts with the famous ‘Sorteo extraordinario de Navidad’, the Christmas lottery, on december 22nd, and lasts till January 6th, Holy Three Kings.

Wherever you are, the team of Food Hopping Food Tours wishes you a happy Saint Nicholas day, and hope you all found some nice treats!

Christmas Markets – A Delicious German Tradition

Food Hopping Food Tours Christmas MarketsAs Christmas is coming close, Christmas Markets are bustling everywhere in Germany and beyond.

Delicious food at Christmas markets

Did you already taste those delicious treats like ‘Stollen’, ‘Lebkuchen’ or ‘gebrannte Mandeln’ that are so typical for those open-air-markets? Not to forget the mulled wine and grilled sausages to stay warm inside! With festive decorations and seasonal music, a Christmas Market is an ideal place to get into the holiday mode.

This tradition originates from mediaveal times, where trade fairs allowed the population to stockpile food and supplies before the hardest winter. Quickly the trade expanded to small artisanals, toys, sweets and nuts as christmas gifts for the children.

Christmas markets all over Germany

Today, almost every town and village in Germany has ists own Christmas Market. From small weekend gatherings, run by the local parish in smaller villages, up to world-famous markets like the “Christkindelmarkt” in Nurenberg or the “Striezelmarkt” in Dresden, that start End of November and end the day before Christmas.

Usually a Christmas Market is an open air market, decorated with festive lights, where wooden stalls sell Christmas tree adornments, small gifts for children and adults as well as spices and sweets. Famous is the ‘Christstollen’, a sweet and filling bread with fruit and nuts, ‘Lebkuchen’ gingerbread and an almost infinite variety of ‘Weihnachts-Plätzchen’ cookies and biscuits.

In our times, Christmas Markets are a very popular gathering place to meet friends, drink mulled wine and eat warm delicacies such as grilled sausages, potato pancakes, hot soup or roast chestnuts.

Christmas markets in the world

And the allurement of Christmas Markets has spread even to Canada, the United States of America and even to Japan. In England, Birmingham, as the Partner City of our Home Base town Frankfurt, hosts a “Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt”.

Some of the delicatessen at a Christmas Market are special to this occasion, but many delicious nibbles are also available during the year. So come and try authentic local specialities in Germany wit our Food Hopping Food Tours – our new tours in Frankfurt/Main and more! See you soon with

Food Hopping Germany Food Tours!

Food Tour Napoli – Authentic Pizza Neapolitana

Naples or Napoli in Italy – with its name coming from the ancient greek founding of Neapolis, the new town – sprawls pleasantly between the Gulf of Naples and one of the most famous volcanos of the earth, the Vesuv.

The surrounding Campania region with its extended meadowlands is best known for ist excellent buffalo´s cheese, the Mozzarella di Buffalo o Burrata.

It is an unique experience, opening for the first time the firm white cheese dough with a knife and letting the creamy milk float fro the center. With its very rich, buttery but fresh taste this cheese speciality excites gourmets everywhere.

Also, the volcanic earth at the slopes of the volcano are perfectly apt to grow flavour-rich tomatoes and hot-blooded wines.

In Napoli, those ingredients came together with grain flour, water, sea salt and some basil leaves to form its signature dish: the Pizza Neapolitana. A not-to-miss food for every visitor to Naples, and coveted treasure of the locals.

It is in Naples where the Pizza has its roots – thin, crisp and with simple but perfect ingredients of the region. Paired with a glas of vesuvian wine, there is not much left to fulfill a foodies dream….

With Food Hopping in Naples, our passionate Food Hopping guide leads to the best spots to taste not only the authentic Pizza Neapolitana, but also fresh cheese Burrata, extraordinary wines and much more local food specialities, some well-known, some surprising.

Together with amusing anecdotes and background storys about the food and the people of Napoli, it is a perfect way for any food lover to get to know the city by the means of a Food Tour.
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Food Hopping Napoli Food Tour!

Tapas and Andalusian Traditions in Malaga

Food Hopping Malaga Food Tour tapas and shopsMálaga, Andalusian tapas at the Pearl of the Costa del Sol

In culinary terms, people mosly connect this Andalusian city to delicious tapas, sweet wine and raisins.

Located at the mediterrean coast in Andalucía, Spain, this beautiful city offers best weather conditions almost all year long.

Long and soft sloping sandy beaches are at walking distance from the city center.

Tapas at the beach in Málaga

Chiringuitos, popular beach bars, are an institution, During the day, they satisfy the need of the vacation beach goers with cold drinks, sangria, tapas and paella, sweets and icecream.

In the evening appear small flickering fires, a pleasant smell of burning wood and roasted fish. Directly at the beach, in front of the chiringuitos, there are numerous firepits inside pintoresque old fishing boats. Here they roast daily-catched sardines, sizzeling on a stick – delicious!

Malagas old centre – tapas and more

The old city center of Málaga with its narrow alleyways and pedestrian passages harbors a vibrant gastronomic scene. You can discover old neighborhood grocery shops where slow-aged, cured whole pork legs dangle from the ceiling. You may taste and buy savoury mountain cheeses. In small hidden bars, the whole family is involved in preparing home cooked tapas and raciones like the famous spanish potato omelette tortilla, savoury codfish croquetas, albondigas meatballs and much more. High-class restaurants and glamourous nightlife locations offer tapas, fine dining and drinks..

Not to forget the local food markets, where local sellers offer the freshest fruit and vegetables, meat and fish – perfect so see where the ingredients for the tapas came from!.

With our new Food Hopping Tour, you may discover Málagas best-hidden secrets and most emblematic tapas and other food traditions – all in a amusing and pleasable walking tour.
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Food Hopping Malaga Food Tours!