Italian cuisine is not usually associated with street food. When talking Italian, it is usually freshly made pasta, Sicilian pizza, or creamy risotto that are top of mind.
Margarita Forés, renowned owner of Cibo and the woman who expanded our Italian cuisine vernacular, is hoping to change this mindset by introducing Cibo di Strada, a new streetfood menu, in honor of Cibo’s 20th anniversary this August.
Inspired by her many trips to Italy, Forés shares her take on some of Italy’s most beloved street food items. Available exclusively for now at Cibo inside SM Aura Premier, the new street menu will be rolled out in other Cibo branches soon.
The Fabulous Five
Arancini, a favorite from Cibo di M’s catering menu, has finally made its way into the restaurant. Originating from Sicily, the deep-fried rice balls are traditionally made with leftover risotto and stuffed with mozzarella cheese. Now on offer are three different variants of arancini: Bologna-style beef and pork ragú, al telefono, a blend of stewed tomatoes, parmigiano and basil, and porcini mushrooms with gorgonzola.
Cibo di Strada’s arrosticini hails from the Abruzzo region in Italy. Skewered cubes of seasoned beef tenderloin are grilled until tender and sprinkled with chili flakes. The dish is served with Tuscan whole wheat bread to help soak up the juices.
Take one bite of the fritto misto and be instantly transported to the dazzling Mediterranean coastline. A light, crisp batter coats pieces of shrimp, squid, zucchini, and eggplant. Squeeze a zesty slice of lemon over the deep-fried seafood and vegetables to brighten the flavors and cut through the richness.
Cibo’s pizza fritta is nothing like the pizza pockets we all grew up eating. The decadent rounds of dough are filled with fine Italian ingredients and fried to golden brown perfection. The pizzas come in three unique flavors: Caprese style, with tomato, mozzarella, and basil; smoked ham, bel paese, mozzarella, and fontina bathed in groviera cream; and a mouth-watering dessert pizza with the winning combination of Nutella and sliced banana.
The last item on the menu is the panino porchetta—a grilled roast pork sandwich. This Roman-style panino is made up of succulent slices of roast pork layered with an apple and pear mostarda, topped with peppery rucola, and sandwiched between two slices of crusty bread.