Four Key Italian Flavours for Mediterranean Summer Feasting

At Diforti, we know that the vibrant flavours of authentic Italian food make it just as great for al fresco summer dining as it is for a hearty winter meal. Our years of experience putting together the best Italian food hampers have taught us just how versatile Mediterranean ingredients can be. However, there are a few ingredients we like to use in the summertime especially. These foods make dishes fresh and bright, livening them up so that they’re perfect for warmer weather. Work these four key flavours into your meals to bring a hint of the Mediterranean to your summer.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is a fundamental ingredient in Italian cooking year-round. It plays a major role in the taste profile of many classic foods, from Italian antipasti dishes to traditional stews, but its fruitiness makes it particularly well-suited to summer. During the summertime, we love to drizzle flavour-infused oils like our Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil over crisp salads with a splash of balsamic vinegar. High-quality extra virgin olive oil lets the flavour and texture of greens shine while adding a bit of richness—something authentic Italian cuisine never shies away from!

Fresh Basil

To us, nothing says ‘summer’ more than the aroma of basil snipped right from the garden. We love topping all kinds of dishes with chopped fresh basil—pizzas, pastas and bruschettas are all elevated by this fragrant herb. But above all, our favourite way to enjoy fresh basil in the summer is through a simple pesto. Our Basil Pesto contains nothing but basil, Grana Padano cheese, garlic and oil, and it’s a shining example of how fresh flavours make all the difference. We like to cook up some perfectly al dente pasta and toss it with a healthy serving of pesto for a quick, easy summer dinner.


In Italy, summer is synonymous with aperitif called Aperol. Its slightly sweet, slightly bitter flavours are showcased in the refreshing Aperol Spritz, a cocktail made with Prosecco and soda water. One sip of an Aperol Spritz and you’ll feel like you’re basking in the glow of the Mediterranean sun—it’s not uncommon to see Italians walking around on the beach drinking these bright orange cocktails out of plastic cups. Aperol is great in a variety of other tipples, as well. Experiment by adding Aperol to your recipes and you might just find your new favourite cocktail!

Pecorino Cheese 

We love pecorino cheese in the summertime because it works just as well on a cheeseboard as it does grated on summer salads and pastas. Made from sheep’s milk, pecorino has a distinct flavour that can be manipulated and developed through different ageing techniques and the addition of ingredients like truffles, nuts or wine. For a light snack, make up a little cheeseboard with some bread or crackers, grapes and our White Pecorino. Want to incorporate pecorino into your cooking? Grate our Pecorino Aged in Nero d’Avola Wine over your pastas in place of Parmigiano.

These complex flavours are a Mediterranean summer holiday for your taste buds—pick out your authentic Italian food online with Diforti and you’ll be escaping to Italy, albeit through your kitchen, in no time.


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