Italian cuisine, particularly that of more southern Italy, is a haven for carb-loving vegetarians. This personal love I try to keep in check in my daily life. However, when in Rome… well, you know the rest. So my week consisted of the world’s best red wine, pasta, pizza, bread and gelato, all made locally and with the freshest ingredients. It’s incredible how much better food tastes when it’s prepared fresh, from local ingredients free of all of the harsh chemicals and preservatives that are used so prevalently back home. And the portions. Perfect!
Like all aspects of their lives, Italians are passionate about their cuisine – the natural ingredients in it, and the passed-down recipes that have withstood the test of generations. Italians look at food with love, and thus approach eating with a different respect. Meals are to be enjoyed. Every bite. Not rushed. No one scarfs through endless bowls of pasta and steak to feed a soccer team. They enjoy their company and their food, and thus meals are relaxing and beautiful experiences.
I have long loved to cook. It started for me in college, when my repertoire consisted of boxed cheese tortellini (with jarred sauce), boxed macaroni & cheese and cereal. I had a revelation during my junior year that this was no way to live life as an independent adult. I’ll touch on my journey to cooking in another story, but one of the reasons why I fell in love with cooking was the experience. The experience of preparing, the experience of eating, and the experience of sharing. Sharing food and sharing love.
I am typically the last person finished with my food at any gathering, and many people joke that it’s because of my gift of gab. While that just may be a little factor, it’s really because I find eating, particularly with others, to be an enjoyable experience. I want to talk. I want to connect. Over the dishes and over our lives. I don’t allow phones at my tables (other than to snap an initial picture of course), and get quite upset when this time is disrespected by phones or TV. (Unless it’s a Sunday in the fall, in which eating while watching football has its own category and this doesn’t count.)
The foot I ate on this trip to the Amalfi coast was outstanding. To me, the best in the world. I indulged in my favorites (in European portions of course!), and I equally indulged in the experience of our meals.
If there is one tradition my family can bring back home a bit stronger, it is to celebrate the intimate times we get to share around the table, and to appreciate and be present in every moment of the experience. ❤️
A few of my favorites (pictured above):
Best house red wine – Risrorante O’Puledrone (Sorrento)
Best gelato – Da Filippo (Sorrento)
Best pasta – Ristorante O’Puledrone (Sorrento)
Best pizza – Sapori Di Positano (Positano)
Best vegetables – Ristorante Neptunus (Ischia)
Best pastries – Grand Caffè Vittori (Ischia)