If you have never heard of Eataly before, then you’re in for a treat. Eataly is an Italian marketplace originated in Torino, Italy in 2007 gathering Italy’s finest in food and drink into one location and has since expanded worldwide. There are currently six Eataly locations in the US with a seventh one opening soon in Dallas. Inside the marketplace are various stands for all different types Italian delicacies from pasta to gelato. An aspiring foodie like myself wanted to be able to learn more about Italian cuisine since all I really knew beforehand was pizza and Olive Garden. The older I got, the more I wanted to be able to try different types of food from all over the world since my family comes from a country were we implement food into our culture.
My husband and I took a road trip down to Boston to learn about Eataly in order to be able to tell Eataly’s story. In this post, I wanted to share our experience with Eataly as it highlighted the extensive history of Italian cuisine and the culture that comes along with it. Eataly’s motto is: Eat, Shop, Learn and I can assure you that we did all three of those things. Our Eataly storytellers for the day, Lucia and Eleni, were incredibly helpful throughout the tour and their passion made the experience feel as if we were in Italy.
A lot of products in Eataly are all imported directly from Italy although fish, meats, and produce are locally sourced from surrounding New England areas. For example, our first stop was trying freshly made potato chips with potatoes locally sourced from, you guessed it, MAINE!
Served as a side to their panini’s, these chips have an amazing taste and texture, you can tell these were made in house! Also, the thing with Maine potatoes is that you know the Maine potato taste. One bite into these chips and I knew instantly they were from Maine.
Sweets are my biggest weakness so I was pretty excited for our next stop. Venchi was originated in Italy over 100 years ago and is well known for their different chocolate varieties. We tried their best seller which was a smooth and decadent hazelnut chocolate.
Moving on to more desserts, I felt like I needed to be put in a sugar coma after this! Their desserts not only looked amazing but the taste was absolute perfection. We tried their tiramisu and it did not disappoint! They have desserts for just about any occasion whether you’re sharing with friends or want a “me only” portion.
What’s Italy without a little bit of gelato? Their gelato and sorbetto are made in house using only the finest ingredients to give you that authentic gelato taste. The gelato flavor we tried was very rich and creamy and really sets itself apart from being considered ice cream. And the best part? Gelato is considered to be much better for you compared to regular ice cream because their products are made from natural ingredients while ice cream has more additives, fats, and sugars added to the mix.
One of my favorite parts of their tour was looking at all the different kinds of bread on display. All their bread is made on site and their bakery is open 24 hours a day. Crazy, right? The reason for that is because their bread relies so heavily on their mother yeast, the yeast has to be taken care of and fed twice throughout the day. Without the yeast, it would not give Eataly’s breads the flavor that separates itself from others.
They have a wide selection from savory to sweet as all of their bread comes from the bakery, even their pizza dough. We tried one of their sweet breads with a banana and chocolate chunk topping. The bread dough was incredibly fluffy and did not take away the flavor from the topping.
As we learned more about the different types of breads and desserts from Italy, of course we had to try some panettone while we were there!
Panettone is popular sweet bread that is typically enjoyed around the holiday season. Consider it Italy’s popular (and tastier) fruit cake, but actually edible! There are different types of panettone that you can choose from and can be eaten in many different ways. For instance, there are recipes where you can make French toast out of slices of panettone! Next to the panettone was the pandoro, which is a sweeter and more cake-like version of the panettone. Pandoro comes packaged with a side of powdered sugar to top it off with before serving. Brandon and I did not leave Eataly without picking up a pandoro for ourselves to enjoy as our Thanksgiving dessert!
Next we started making our way towards the market side of Eataly where customers are able to purchase imported Italian goods. Here you can buy authentic Italian pasta, sauces, and extra virgin olive oil.
The Afeltra pasta is one of their best sellers as the pasta is made with high quality ingredients.
Our next stop a long the way was La Pescheria, the seafood/meat counter. Across the way from the seafood counter was the restaurant side of La Pescheria where customers can sit at the bar and enjoy seafood dishes made straight from their kitchen.
Now onto my favorite FAVORITE part of the tour: pasta! Because it wouldn’t be Eataly without it!
All the pasta dishes served at Eataly are all made from scratch at the Pasta Fresca counter and comes in all different varieties. You can see people making the pasta behind the counter so you can see the process on how pasta is made!
We tried the Agnolotti Del Plin Brasato. They were tiny ravioli-like pieces filled with veal and tossed in a rich, creamy butter-based sauce. I want to say that this dish was my husband’s favorite part of the tour to try.
The last part of our tour was the cheese and deli counter where they gave us samples of their finest cheese and cold cuts! We were served a sample charcuterie board of their best sellers, the cheese and meat pairings were perfecto! Also did not realize how amazing fresh mozzarella cheese tastes with a balsamic vinegar drizzle. I’ll probably start doing that next time I set up a charcuterie board.
After our tour, I can honestly say that my views of Italian cuisine has gone beyond what I had previously known before. Eataly has definitely proven itself to be more than just a marketplace. It’s a learning opportunity. If you find yourself in the Boston area, I highly recommend you stop in Eataly as it is an mind-blowing experience that you not only get to taste but also observe.
Special thanks to Eataly Boston for taking my husband and I on the tour and letting us explore and learn. Also a big thanks to our Eataly Storytellers for the day, Lucia and Eleni for taking the time and showing us around!