Taste of Tennessee

When in Tennessee, do as Tennesseans do: slather a slice of country ham in red-eye gravy, throw back a glass of Jack Daniel’s or dig into a plate of Memphis dry-rub barbecue.

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Biscotti

Whether you're drinking a cappuccino, an espresso, a latte or a macchiato -- biscotti are the perfect complement. 960 1280

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Start your Italian feast off right with a plate of bruschetta -- crostini topped with fresh tomatoes and basil, then drizzled with olive oil. 960 1280

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Gnocchi, soft (but dense) Italian dumplings, are often made with potato -- and are sure to fill you up. 960 1280

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If you’re craving dessert -- or even just a snack -- you can’t go wrong with a cannoli. The Sicilian pastry is often made with ricotta cheese, and is best washed down with a “digestivo” such as sambuca or grappa. 960 1280

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No Italian meal is complete without a bottle of red wine. 960 1280

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It may be simple, but few things are more delicious than a traditional Neapolitan margherita pizza, named after Queen Margherita when she was served a pizza made with the Italian flag’s colors on a visit to Naples in 1889. 960 1280

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Tiramisu, which appropriately translates as “pick me up,” is made of layers of ladyfingers soaked in espresso, mascarpone cheese, cocoa powder and liqueur. 960 1280

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Salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, capicola, soppressata … oh my! Italians love their cured meats, and they make for a great antipasto. 960 1280

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Nothing beats homemade, fresh pasta.  960 1280

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The Italians love their olives, whether they are served as an antipasto or used to make olive oil. 960 1280

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A northern Italian specialty, pesto is made from garlic, plenty of fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil and parmigiano-reggiano. 960 1280

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A popular “aperitivo” in Italy, a negroni is made of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari. Many restaurants and bars in Italy serve a buffet of free food to snack on while you enjoy a predinner cocktail. 960 1280

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A bowl of silky-creamy risotto. Typically served as a “primo,” or first course, risotto preparation is an art: al dente, but cooked enough that the starch from the rice creates a smooth and creamy consistency. 960 1280

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A caprese salad in the U.S. can hardly compare with the same simple dish in Italy: the red, juicy and ripe Roma tomatoes layered with thick slices of bufala mozzarella will put all other caprese salads you’ve had to shame. 960 1280

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Who could forget spaghetti? The iconic, long, round noodles are just one variety of over 300 different types of Italian pasta. 960 1280

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A classic Sicilian pasta dish, pasta alla norma is made with eggplant in a tomato sauce and ricotta salata. Southern Italian cuisine relies heavily on tomatoes, peppers, olives, artichokes, eggplants, fish and capers, while northern Italian cuisine uses less tomato sauce and more herbs and white sauce. 960 1280

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Polenta, made from maize meal, is a typical northern Italian dish. Once cooked into a creamy, thick paste, it can be served with vegetables, fish or meat, or shaped into patties and then fried, baked or grilled. 960 1280

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Taste of Italy  17 Photos

This is squid and prawn --a dish on the menu at Delaire Graff Estate’s Indochine Restaurant-- made with saffron tapioca pearls, chorizo, oven-dried peppers and fine beans.

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Make sure you try the beetroot sponge with cucumber-dill granita and yogurt at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek. 960 1280

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Stick bread is cooked over a fire and eaten with butter and syrup at St. Lucia’s Umlilo Lodge. 960 1280

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At Mar Hermanus, the restaurant serves perlemoen potjiekos, an abalone, whitefish, tomato stew. 960 1280

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Yummy! There’s nothing like delicious fresh honeycomb for breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Durban. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

Green apple cloud is made with apple sorbet, almond cake and crumbs, at Cape Town’s Azure Restaurant. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

Springbok carpaccio is a type of antelope served at Moyo Restaurant in Durban. 960 1280

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Try this Mozambique platter with a whole chicken and 12 prawns at Braza in St. Lucia. 960 1280

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The Delaire Graff Estate’s Indochine Restaurant serves this tasty rabbit terrine with pickled carrots, verjuice, mustard fritters and celeriac remoulade. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

This is traditional braai --with steak, Sausage, and mealie pap-- served at Umlilo Lodge in St. Lucia. 960 1280

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Anyone interested in fresh oysters with fish eggs at the Views’ restaurant in Wilderness, South Africa. 960 1280

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Beef mince samosas is one of the many delicious items on the menu at Moyo Restaurant in Durban. 960 1280

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Taste the ostrich tataki with shimeji mushrooms and artichoke at Signal Restaurant in Cape Town. 960 1280

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Here’s the succulent josper-grilled chalmar beef served at the Azure Restaurant in Cape Town. 960 1280

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The Oriental, a restaurant in Durban, serves bunny chow, a lamb curry in a bread-loaf bowl. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

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