Costa Cruises has updated its lunch and dinner menus to feature more authentic Italian cuisine with help from one of the country's best culinary experts, according to the cruise line.
Michelin-star Chef Fabio Cucchelli worked with a new team of corporate chefs to update the line's onboard cuisine, creating 14 authentic regional lunch and dinner menus and 252 new dishes.
New regional offerings include a fillet of spatola (silver scabbardfish in English) with bread and raisins, served with Sicilian caponata and sweet and sour red onion (from the Sicily region); Gricia-style rigatoni pasta with jowl bacon and Roman Pecorino cheese cream (from the Lazio region); and golden fried breaded pork cordon bleu with potato croquettes and grilled tomato (from the Friuli region).
"We chose the recipes that truly represent the tastes and aromas of Italian history and culture, creating a real culinary voyage through 14 different regions that's based on the itinerary of each ship, depending on the length of the cruise and the ports of call," said Filippo Bertuzzi, Costa Cruises' corporate director, food and beverage operations. "In addition, Costa selected a new team of corporate chefs who traveled on all the fleet's ships to implement the new menus, to provide onboard personnel with assistance during this important change and to ensure that our guests always enjoy the best travel experience, even at the table."
On cruises that call at Italian ports, guests will find even more Italian-style options, with menus of the region the ship visits. When the line's new flagship Costa Diadema calls at Savona, for example, guests can expect to see Genoese burrida soup with cuttlefish and fine peas on the menu or a Neapolitan-style pasta and potato soup after a call at Naples.
"We are proud of our gastronomic traditions, which are also a symbol of identity for countless Italians." said Giuseppe Carino, Costa Cruises' vice president guest experience and onboard revenue. "Every year on our ships we take on vacation hundreds of thousands of guests who come from about 200 different countries. Everyone has their own habits and preferences, but what they ask us for as far as food is concerned is to be able to taste the real flavors of Italian cuisine. That's why our gastronomic fare is based on regional culinary traditions, recognized around the world as a healthy and distinctively convivial cuisine. Every day during a cruise we propose a different menu that's dedicated to a particular Italian region: in this way we enhance the value of quality Italian producers, since most of the ingredients we use for these regional recipes are obtained from local suppliers."
The new menus are part of Costa's new "Italy's Finest" campaign - an effort to bring a stronger taste of Italy to its ships around the world by partnering with the country's most popular food and beverage brands. The line recently announced partnerships with Barilla, Illy Caffé and Ferrari wines, and has also revamped its entertainment offerings to feature more of Italy's best traditions.