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How and Why You Should Embrace the Italian Art of Snacking

Our Health & Wellness expert explains the pleasures and benefits of embracing the Italian art of snacking.

Marianna Cuomo Maier and an Italian snack plate.

Marianna Cuomo Maier and an Italian snack plate.

Italian snacking is all the rage right now, capturing hearts and taste buds with its array of flavors and texture. Growing up in an Italian American household, I enjoyed snacks consisting of prosciutto, mozzarella, and taralli as a child and shared them with my non-Italian friends who would be trying these ingredients for the first time with wonder. Today, it’s heartening to see people of all backgrounds embracing these culinary delights, showcased proudly on social media feeds and kitchen tables alike.

A typical Italian snack plate.
A typical Italian snack plate.

Recently, I received a signed copy of Anna Francese Gass’ latest book, Italian Snacking, as a gift from a friend, reigniting my passion for crafting sumptuous snack plates, especially as summer approaches.

Italian Snacking by Anna Francese Gass.
Italian Snacking by Anna Francese Gass.

Appetito magazine featured Italian Snacking and recently shared a contribution from Stef Ferrari's new book, Stuzzichini, which explores the "Art of the Italian Snack." Appetito's Managing Editor, Richard Martin, aptly observes that the current fascination with Italian snacking stems from our enduring love affair with Italian cuisine and a more recent quest for a healthier Mediterranean lifestyle.

This sentiment resonates deeply with me as a Health & Wellness Coach. I believe in empowering individuals to trust their intuition when it comes to nourishing their bodies, transcending the confines of traditional meal structures. After all, why should the enjoyment of food be limited to designated mealtimes?

The essence of Italian snack culture goes beyond mere sustenance. It embodies the Italian way of life that prioritizes well-being in the fullest sense, savoring each bite and prioritizing connections and cherished moments with loved ones. 

For the good stuff:

Earlier this month, I shared my favorite gem nestled in Little Italy: Di Palo’s Fine Foods. This charming establishment has become my go-to destination for sourcing wholesome Italian products, ensuring that each snack plate I assemble is filled with high quality, delicious ingredients.

For a well-rounded Italian snack plate that is both delicious and nourishing, consider incorporating a variety of protein and fiber-rich options along with healthy fats. Here are some of my favorite ingredients to get you started:

  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Parmigiano 
  • Prosciutto
  • Cured sausage
  • Sliced turkey
  • Cerignola or Castelvetrano olives
  • Basil
  • Tomato
  • Peach
  • Cucumber
  • Arugula
  • Simple Mills crackers
  • Season with flaky salt, cracked pepper and a good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Whether enjoyed as a midday pick-me-up or as part of a leisurely evening gathering, enjoy an Italian snack plate with family and friends and enjoy every bite. Buon appetito!

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