Italian snack food: healty recipes for tasty breaks

Italians love food. Our passion is well known all over the world and our dishes are greatly appreciated and imitated in thousands of italian restaurant abroad (more or less faithful to the italian traditional cousine, but that's another story). But if you really want to be an expert of Italian food culture, you should know something which goes far beyond our insane passion for pasta: the rituality around every single meal which makes them one-by-one different. Today I'd like to talk about the "merenda" time and the special italian snack food made with lots of love from our nonne, providing you with a few healthy traditional recipes.

Italian snack time: what does "merenda" mean?

First of all, when Italians gather around a table for a meal, we do not seat just for eating, but for enjoying our time with family and friends. That's why we spend a lot of time dining; breakfast time could be the only exception, but not the "merenda", which perfecly reflects the Italian way of life. So, what's this "merenda" and its typical recipes? 

Literally it refers to a traditional aftenoon break, specially prepared for children. The merenda slots in between school and homework. It is the perfect after-school cuddle homemade by lovely Italian nonne who avoid junk food for restoting their grandchildren's energy and concentration. Of course Italian grandmothers wink to old time traditions and genuine ingredients for preparing the best tiny aftenoon meals ever. 

By the way, merenda is not just for children. In our busy lives, anybody deserves a five minutes break every day: hard workers, young students, athlets! And although a cheerful chat with nonna is always the sweetest break, Italian people do their best for having healty, tasty snacks.

At this point: what's the most popular Italian snack food? Which are Italians' favourite recipes inherited from our grannies? Let's review the most popular ones. 

Italian snack food: our favourite healthy and tasty recipes

Actually there’s a wide variety of sweet and savory recipes (let’s just think about typical local products), but here I want to the most common snacks. Let's start with sweet:

  • pane e cioccolato. A simple slice of fresh bread with chocolate hazelnut spread
  • pane, ricotta e zucchero. A slice of fresh bread with ricotta cheese mixed with sugar. Interesting variants could be a dusting of cocoa powder or the addition of jam.
  • Crostata o ciambellone. A slide of homemade bundt cake, tart pie, or any othe kind of cake (rigorously homenade). 

If you instead prefer savory, here's a few snack ideas based on bread:

  • pane e salame. A sandwich with a few slices of italian salami (and not pepperoni!). For this kind of sanwich we usually use the rosetta - also called "michetta" - a rose-shaped bread rolls.
  • pane e "mortazza". This is an alternative to "pane e salame" and it is a typical roman food.
  • pane, burro e alici. A tasty snack made with butter and anchovies on a slice of bread.

I bet your mouth is watering just thinking about these delicious recipes! But the most inviting thing is that the're all substantial and genuine snacks, inherited from the most traditional food expert in the world: Italian grannies

Are you looking for geniune food, 100% Made in Italy? Check out our selection on Unicoitaliano 

 Italian snack food: healty recipes for tasty breaks

Italians love food. Our passion is well known all over the world and our dishes are greatly appreciated and imitated in thousands of Italian restaurant abroad (more or less faithful to the Italian traditional cusine, but that's another story). But if you really want to be an expert of Italian food culture, you should know something which goes far beyond our insane passion for pasta: the rituality around every single meal which makes them one-by-one different. Today I'd like to talk about the "merenda" time and the special Italian snack food made with lots of love from our nonne, providing you with a few healthy traditional recipes.

Italian snack time: what does "merenda" mean?

First of all, when Italians gather around a table for a meal, we do not seat just for eating, but for enjoying our time with family and friends. That's why we spend a lot of time dining; breakfast time could be the only exception, but not the "merenda", which perfectly reflects the Italian way of life. So, what's this "merenda" and its typical recipes? 

Literally it refers to a traditional afternoon break, specially prepared for children. The merenda slots in between school and homework. It is the perfect after-school cuddle homemade by lovely Italian nonne who avoid junk food for restoring their grandchildren's energy and concentration. Of course Italian grandmothers wink to old time traditions and genuine ingredients for preparing the best tiny afternoon meals ever. 

By the way, merenda is not just for children. In our busy lives, anybody deserves a five minutes break every day: hard workers, young students, athletes! And although a cheerful chat with nonna is always the sweetest break, Italian people do their best for having healthy, tasty snacks.

At this point: what's the most popular Italian snack food? Which are Italians' favorite recipes inherited from our grannies? Let's review the most popular ones. 

Italian snack food: our favorite healthy and tasty recipes

Actually there’s a wide variety of sweet and savory recipes (let’s just think about typical local products), but here I want to the most common snacks. Let's start with sweet:

  • pane e cioccolato. A simple slice of fresh bread with chocolate hazelnut spread
  • pane, ricotta e zucchero. A slice of fresh bread with ricotta cheese mixed with sugar. Interesting variants could be a dusting of cocoa powder or the addition of jam.
  • Crostata o ciambellone. A slide of homemade bundt cake, tart pie, or any othe kind of cake (rigorously homemade). 

If you instead prefer savory, here's a few snack ideas based on bread:

  • pane e salame. A sandwich with a few slices of Italian salami (and not pepperoni!). For this kind of sandwich we usually use the rosetta - also called "michetta" - a rose-shaped bread rolls.
  • pane e "mortazza". This is an alternative to "pane e salame" and it is a typical roman food.
  • pane, burro e alici. A tasty snack made with butter and anchovies on a slice of bread.

I bet your mouth is watering just thinking about these delicious recipes! But the most inviting thing is that they're all substantial and genuine snacks, inherited from the most traditional food expert in the world: Italian grannies

Are you looking for genuine food, 100% Made in Italy? Check out our selection on Unicoitaliano