7 Weird Italian Delicacies You Have Probably Never Tasted Before

1. Maggot Cheese (Casu Marzu, Sardinia)

These maggots decompose Sardinian sheep milk aged pecorino cheese, making it soft and aromatic. For good reason, the EU Food and Safety Commission prohibited this infected cheese.

2. Cow Guts (Lampredotto, Tuscany)

Florence serves (cleaned) intestines stewed in broth and stuffed into bread rolls, or on a platter with spicy or herbed sauces (you'll need flavor booster!) and a cheap glass of Chianti on the side of the road or in a piazza.

3. Stuffed Mice with Mince (Dormice, Rome)

These mice are now protected, but Romans stuffed them with mince meat, nuts, herbs, and spices. Yum! A little community in Calabria, Southern Italy, consumes tens of thousands of this historic delicacy.

4. Tuscan Chicken Liver Crostini (Tuscany)

This is like pate, but some recipes include anchovies and chicken hearts to chicken liver. It has liver pieces and is not as smooth as French pate. Locals love it. It pairs well with Chianti, according to Hannibal Lecter.

5. Pani ca Meusa (Sicilian Spleen Sandwiches)

This is the quintessential Mediterranean street food: cow spleen with caciocavallo (stretched curd cheese) or ricotta, lemon juice, and Sicilian bread.

6. Pork Blood Cake (Tuscany)

Sweet bloody pie? What's wrong with making it look like chocolate and taste like cake? “Never waste a drop of anything” is Tuscan kitchen ethos.

7. Songbirds, Brescia (Lombardy)

These small birdies sing in the morning and are loaded with pork, beef, rabbit, and even other little birds! They are slow-baked on skewers!  Traditionally, polenta is used.