In Italy, food is a way of life. Meals are lovingly prepared, family recipes are passed down through generations, and people come together around the table. Since we can’t be on tour in Italy all the time (as much as we’d like to!), what’s the next best thing? A visit to Eataly, a marketplace that brings authentic Italian products and flavors to 33 locations around the world. The Go Ahead blog team ventured downtown for a tour of the brand-new Eataly Boston, and to treat our taste buds to some Italian specialties.
The motto of Eataly is “Eat, Shop, Learn.” At 45,000 square feet, the Boston location is full of plenty of opportunities to do just that in its market, restaurants, bars, cooking school, and wine shop. Its founders wanted to give people the chance to shop for diverse products from the country’s many regions all under one roof. As we explored all the marketplace offers, we were able to try these seven delicious Italian specialties—and recommend you do too.
1. Fresh pasta
Starting with the basic ingredients of water, flour, and eggs,_ pastai _(pastamakers) create pasta in all shapes and sizes at La Pasta Fresca counter. Watch these experts make each type by hand, using techniques from the region the shape originated in, and pick up a fresh batch to take home for dinner.
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2. The catch of the day
Each Eataly marketplace around the world is dedicated to something particular, and in New England, it’s the sea. Plenty of high-quality, locally-sourced fish is available for purchase at a well-stocked counter. If you’d prefer sitting down for a meal, try Il Pesce, a restaurant that serves up delicious and inventive seafood-centric dishes.
3. Warm focaccia
The focacceria is a can’t-miss stop for just-out-of-the-oven bread. Opt for a traditional, savory piece of focaccia seasoned with rosemary and sea salt, or try a sweet version with banana, chocolate, and nuts. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this baked bite.
4. Handmade mozzarella cheese
Next to a counter with nearly every type of formaggio imaginable, you can take a peek into the mozzarella-making process. The expert mozzarella makers produce this tasty cheese starting early every morning. Like all of the other products made in house, this mozzarella isn’t just for sale—it’s served at Eataly Boston’s restaurants, too.
5. Olive oil
Italy takes its olive oil very seriously, and you’ll find plenty of different varieties from the country’s 20 regions to choose from. Throughout the market, and in the olive oil section in particular, helpful signs are posted to educate visitors about where and how each product is produced.
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Satisfy your sweet tooth with creamy, refreshing gelato made with ingredients from nearby New England farms and regions like Sicily and Piedmont. And don’t miss the best part: topping it off with a drizzle of Venchi chocolate from a fountain.
Sip this Italian sparkling wine paired with cheese or oysters in La Piazza, a “city square” located in the center of the marketplace. Or, pick up a bottle to bring home in the store, where you can choose from 1,200 types of wine.