My very first (and very short-lived) job in Italy was as a babysitter. I spent most of the first day being shown how to prepare dinner for a 7-month-old baby. That is when I realized that Italian baby food is… different.
Italian babies are on a whole other diet level from their American counterparts. Most baby food is made at home, but it is the kind that you buy in stores is absolutely fascinating to me: rabbit meat baby food, trout for babies, and last but not least- horse meat (with vegetables) as baby food.
Don’t believe me?
“Cavallo”= Horse, if that wasn’t clear based on the package illustration.
Italian baby food also includes two other major sources of protein for babies- rabbit and lamb:
And what child embarking on solid food for the first time wouldn’t love veal and flounder??
While these little jars still strike me as a bit of a stretch given the “prunes” and “carrots” that I grew up seeing in American baby food aisles, I actually admire that Italian babies are given an early introduction to the same types of foods adults eat.
In fact, I am starting to feel like Italian baby food is better than my regular dietary intake.
And, since we are in Italy, of course there is prosciutto for infants.
In case you are curious as to what a typical Italian baby might actually eat, a typical 7-month-old child would be served a mix of homemade foods and potentially store-bought jars like those above.
To prepare Italian baby food:
-Take 1 jar of crazy baby meat product
-Mix with 150 ml of homemade vegetable broth
-Add three spoonfuls of semolina (cereal)
-Add 1 spoonful of freshly ground Parmigiano Reggiano
-Don’t forget to drizzle with olive oil
Update March 2018: And I need the practice because I now have a little baby of my own.