5 Weird & Uncommon Italian Foods

5 Weird & Uncommon Italian Foods

In America, Italian food almost always means Spaghetti, Lasagna or some variation of those dishes. Native Italians, or well versed travelers often know that that is not the case. Italy has a long and rich cuisine history filled with many things that may be considered odd or flat out disgusting to those unaccustomed to them. Here are a few of the most interesting and uncommon foods that many natives will swear by:

Casu Marzu(Maggot cheese)

Maggot Cheese at first glance sounds outright disgusting, but for many in Italy, it is considered a delicacy. Casu Marzu is made from Sheep’s Milk that has been impregnated by the Cheese Fly (Piophila casei). Because the maggots live within the cheese, they cause a reaction within the cheese that expedites fermentation breaking down the cheeses fats that creates a rich and interesting flavor to the cheese. Some choose to remove the live maggots before consuming the cheese. Beware though, the cheese is only edible while the maggots are alive and jumping. Once the maggots die, the cheese becomes toxic as their body decays in the block. When Casu is ready for consumption, it is spread thin across flatbread.

Polenta e Osei

Polenta e Osei is a dish consisting of small birds such as larks, quails and sparrows that are roasted on a spit, on an open fire, or on a pan (usually oblong). The cooked avians are then served with eggs, sausage and sage. This dish originated in Veneto, Bergamo and Brescia and exists in two versions, one is very sweet, while the other is very sweet. The sweet version often uses Marzipan or Chocolate.


If Spumoni were a person, it would be the younger, less likable brother of Gelato. Many Italians enjoy Spumoni, but to others, it is regarded as the Italian fruit cake. Essentially, Spumoni is a molded ice cream dish stuffed with whipped cream, candied fruits and nuts. There are many layers to Spumoni, and many different flavors usually mixed together to create the concoction, similar to Neapolitan ice cream.

Pork blood cake

Pork Blood Cake along with many other dishes in Italy makes use of Pig’s Blood Chocolate, is exactly what it sounds like. Pig’s blood is added to the chocolate of the desserts to give it a slight acidic taste. This treat and others like it are often served during times of celebration such as Carnival, which is a traditional, centuries old festival.

Interested in trying out any of these recipes/dishes? If you think you’ll need a little more time to decide if you want to try these dishes out, feel free to stop by Italian Garden located in San Marcos, TX and try some of our more traditional Italian dishes such as Scampi and Parmigiano! We guarantee you’ll love the dishes here, made fresh for you. To view what we have to offer, you can take a look at our menu here.