From rustic creations rooted in centuries-old traditions to modern interpretations that push culinary boundaries, we uncover the hidden gems of Italian gastronomy all beginning with the letter ‘K’.
Krapfen, also known as bomboloni, are Italian doughnuts that are typically filled with various sweet fillings. They are similar to traditional German Berliner or Austrian Krapfen. These doughnuts are made from a sweet yeast dough that is deep-fried until golden and fluffy. Once cooked, they are often dusted with powdered sugar or granulated sugar. The fillings can vary and may include jam, custard, chocolate, or Nutella. Krapfen are a popular treat in Italy, especially during carnival season when they are commonly enjoyed. They are often found in pastry shops or at festivals and are best enjoyed fresh and warm.
Krumiri are traditional Italian butter cookies that originate from Casale Monferrato, a town in the Piedmont region of Italy. They are made with a rich and crumbly dough that is made from butter, sugar, flour, and sometimes vanilla or lemon zest for flavor. The dough is shaped into the signature twisted form and then baked until golden brown. Krumiri cookies have a delicate texture and a buttery flavor that melts in your mouth. They are often enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee and are a beloved treat in Piedmont and beyond.
3. Kebab di pollo
Kebab di pollo is an Italian-style chicken kebab that has gained popularity in Italy. Inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine, this dish features marinated and grilled chicken pieces skewered with vegetables. The chicken is typically marinated in a flavorful mixture of herbs, spices, olive oil, and lemon juice to enhance its taste. The marinated chicken and vegetables are then threaded onto skewers and grilled until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Kebab di pollo is often served with pita bread, salad, and a variety of sauces such as tzatziki or garlic sauce. It is a tasty and convenient street food option in Italy, enjoyed for its flavorful combination of tender chicken and grilled vegetables.
Kaki, known as “persimmon” in English, is a sweet fruit with a soft texture that is native to East Asia. However, it has become popular in Italy, where it is known as “kaki.” There are different varieties of kaki, but the most common ones are the Fuyu and the Hachiya. The Fuyu persimmon has a rounded shape and can be eaten when firm, similar to an apple. It has a sweet and slightly tangy flavor. The Hachiya persimmon, on the other hand, has an elongated shape and needs to be fully ripe and soft before eating to avoid its astringent taste. When ripe, the Hachiya persimmon is extremely sweet and has a custard-like texture. Kaki fruits are enjoyed fresh and are often used in desserts, jams, or added to salads for their unique flavor and vibrant color.
5. Krapfen alla crema
Krapfen alla crema are Italian cream-filled doughnuts that are reminiscent of Berliner or custard-filled donuts. These delectable treats are made from a sweet yeast dough that is deep-fried until golden and puffy. Once cooked, they are typically filled with a luscious pastry cream or custard, which adds a creamy and flavorful element to the doughnut. After filling, they are often dusted with powdered sugar for an extra touch of sweetness. Krapfen alla crema are a popular dessert or snack in Italy, enjoyed on their own or accompanied by a cup of coffee or tea.
6. Kebab di agnello
Kebab di agnello refers to Italian-style lamb kebab, which is marinated and grilled to perfection. While kebabs have origins in Middle Eastern and Central Asian cuisines, they have become popular in many countries, including Italy. In this Italian variation, tender pieces of lamb are marinated in a mixture of herbs, spices, olive oil, and lemon juice to infuse them with delightful flavors. The marinated lamb is then skewered and grilled until it is juicy and cooked to the desired level of doneness. Kebab di agnello is often served with a variety of accompaniments such as grilled vegetables, flatbread, tzatziki sauce, and fresh salad. It is a delicious and satisfying dish that showcases the succulent taste of lamb with aromatic Mediterranean-inspired seasonings.
7. Kipper affumicato
Kipper affumicato refers to Italian smoked kipper, which is a type of smoked fish. While kippers have origins in British and Scandinavian cuisine, they are enjoyed in various parts of the world, including Italy. The process of smoking gives kippers a distinct smoky flavor and a rich, savory taste. They are typically prepared by curing and then hot-smoking whole herring or other small oily fish. The smoking process imparts a deep golden color and enhances the natural flavors of the fish. Kipper affumicato can be enjoyed on its own as a delicacy or incorporated into various dishes, such as salads, pasta dishes, or served alongside crusty bread and butter.
Kaiserschmarrn, or Kaiserschmarren, is the Italian version of the Austrian dessert, consisting of shredded pancake served with fruit compote or powdered sugar. Originating in Austria, this delightful dish has made its way into Italian cuisine, particularly gaining popularity in South Tyrol, the picturesque Alpine region that shares a border with Austria. Kaiserschmarrn is made by cooking a thick pancake batter in a pan until it becomes golden and slightly crispy. The pancake is then torn into small, irregular pieces, giving it a “shredded” appearance. It is often served with a fruit compote, such as applesauce or plum sauce, and dusted with powdered sugar. Kaiserschmarrn can be enjoyed as a sweet breakfast or dessert, offering a delightful combination of textures and flavors. The torn pancake pieces are tender on the inside, slightly crisp on the outside, and pair perfectly with the sweet and tangy fruit compote.
Knödel, also known as Italian-canederli or dumplings, are a popular dish in Trentino-Alto Adige, a region in northern Italy bordering Switzerland and Austria. These dumplings are typically made with bread, potatoes, or flour, and are often served as a side dish or as part of a hearty meal with meat or stews. Knödel come in various shapes and sizes, and they can be savory or sweet depending on the ingredients and the accompanying sauce or filling. They are known for their soft and fluffy texture, and they add a comforting element to many traditional Trentino-Alto Adige dishes.