Of all its multicultural delights, perhaps no cuisine has resonated with us Aussies as much as Italian. For generations, Italian restaurants in Carlton have introduced locals to the wonders of pasta carbonara, homemade woodfired pizza, and yes, even oil. That’s right. No Italians? No olive oil. Want to go a step further? No Italians? No coffee! That is the profound level of impact Italian cuisine and culture have had on Melbourne as a whole, permeating all the way to neighborhoods like Carlton.
With some of the original Aussie settlers hailing from Italian descent, Aussies have had a little Oregano spicing to us all along. For numerous immigrant groups, the 1850s Gold Rush, post-WWII migration boom, and 1970s relaxation of harsh immigration laws all served as “inflection points” for Italian immigrants. At each point, Italian culture’s influence on Aussie cuisine became more gracefully pronounced until we all considered pasta and pizza universally delicious. Today, many Aussie palates are more likely influenced by Italian tastes more than anything else.
Try the Gnocchi: A QIKI Primer on Popular Italian Dishes in Carlton
With Little Italy only blocks away on Lygon St, Italian restaurants in Carlton pack some of the most authentic-tasting Mediterranean food in the country. Check out a list of some local Italian specialties served below:
A dish made from filing deep-fried eggplant with layers of cheese and tomato sauce… which is then baked to perfection. Served with dry olives, this dish provides a delicious blend of flavors, combining olive-oil flavored eggplant with classic Italian cheese and tomato sauces. Layers of enjoyment in this dish.
Carpaccio is a specially thin-sliced popularized in Venice during the 1950s! Served raw, octopus carpaccio is the perfect appetizer for your meal; it will immediately take your palate and senses to another level.
An old classic, truly authentic margherita pizza is a masterpiece of Italian cuisine. Made with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, oregano, and olive oil, this pizza is a foundational part of the Italian diet. Throw on any toppings you like (e.g. – roasted bell peppers, mushrooms, sausage), but you can never lose going with a Margherita pizza.
With Italian restaurants in Carlton so close to the water, look out for delicious linguine and scallops or mussels. Linguine are “flatter” in design and go perfectly with pesto sauce or a creamy base. QIKI personal favorite? Seafood linguine with seared scallops in a heavy cream sauce…. Have your taste buds going woooow!
With pasta made as delicate as possible, raviolis are like Italian-style pot stickers. Filled usually with cheese (e.g. cottage, ricotta) and meat and whatever else Melbourne’s finest can think up, Italian restaurants in Carlton serve some of the best ravioli in the city. If you are a fan of pasta literally bursting with cheese, meat, and veggies, then boiled ravioli is the dish for you.
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