Saturday, June 1, 2013

Some things I learned about food in Italy


  • Drinking really good wine from noon to midnight doesn’t mean you have a problem; it just makes the Italian countryside look prettier.
  • When a Gallipolian fish monger offers you a just-shucked raw mussel that only a few hours ago was plucked from the Ionian Sea, you sure as hell better eat it. Don’t wonder whether his hands are clean. Don’t wonder whether his knife is clean. Just smile and eat it. Then eat another one.
  • I have been mistreating vegetables my whole life. Vegetables don’t want to be steamed or baked. They want to be lovingly bathed in excellent olive oil and fried to luscious, melting perfection. Zucchini, eggplant, I never knew thee.
  • I draw my adventurous eating line at horse meat. Just couldn’t do it.
  • On the other hand, black-hued squid ink spaghetti is A-OK!
  • Sipping a crisp, fizzy rosé feels lovely and sophisticated on a warm Italian afternoon. Whereas drinking rosé at home makes me feel low-budget and icky.
  • The fish head on the dinner platter is there for decorative purposes. Do not be alarmed. Look into his eyes and say thank you.  
  • The existence of tangy, salty, fresh ricotta is evidence that someone in this universe loves us.
  • Lightly battered and fried sage leaves serve no nutritive purpose that I can discern, but who the hell cares? Sometimes crunch and flavor is all you need.
  • My slightly tighter jeans at the end of the week? So worth it.