Italian food is often described as Spettacolore!
Trumbull County, Ohio, is known for amazing Italian foods prepared with love from recipes handed down from generation to generation. The Italians that settled in Trumbull County brought a love for hearty sauces studded with peppers and cured meats.
Over one hundred years have passed since the early European immigrants settled in Northeast Ohio. Today many third and fourth-generation Italian Americans still eat the foods of their ancestors. Some use recipes hand-written on pieces of paper, while others have the ingredients memorized, feeling, and tasting their way in the proper ratios.
An Italian Food Trail was established in 2018, promoting food sites. In addition to restaurants, the Trail highlights Italian bakeries, grocers, and wineries with Italian varietals. Trumbull County was the first in the nation to create such a unique experience. It also aimed to increase the visibility of and visitation to the county and share the area’s Italian heritage with a larger audience through this food experience.
“We’re thrilled to showcase the rich Italian culture we have in our area to a wider audience through this Trail,” stated Beth Carmichael, Executive Director of the Trumbull County Tourism Bureau.
The food Trail takes you through a wide range of tastes, from mouth-watering wedding soup and greens to pizza and pizzelles to the famous hot peppers in oil. There are over 60 food sites to leave you with a little taste of Italy. Most of the highlighted dishes did not start in a restaurant but were rooted in the traditions of the many Italian families who settled in the region in the late 1800s during the coal and steel boom.
“I am from NYC, and it’s fun to visit these family-owned businesses. The pride in their food shines, and using the pass has encouraged me to experience what makes Trumbull County unique. I’ve discovered wedding soup, Italian greens, and hot peppers in oil. I’m a fan! Also, I can’t stop going to Sunrise Inn for its delicious pizza,” said Alyssa Seda, Marketing Manager of Trumbull County Tourism Bureau.
Not only does one enjoy the pasta and pizza, but one savors regional specialties like Italian green (escarole) wilted with olive oil and garlic served with Hungarian pepper on top, Chicken Francaise with the meat dredged in eggs and flour and sauteed in lemon butter. If pizza is your guilty pleasure, try the original white pizza invented locally at Leo’s Ristorante or another regional variety Sunrise Inn known for its delicious Old World and specialty pizzas and other delicious foods. Buena Vista Café established in 1956 started as a bar but has grown into one of the finest restaurants in the city of Warren, Ohio.
For more information on how to participate in the 2023 Italian Food Trail, go to www.ItalianFoodTrail.com. You will also find a digital map and a downloadable sheet with a list of all the locations, making it easy to note your favorites.