I have a secret I have to admit. Although I now feel like the reigning queen of all things Italian, including food, there was once a time when the idea of something wrapped in a tiny package, stuffed with cheese, and covered in sauce had no appeal to me.
I remember very clearly an evening at the dinner table when I was perhaps four or five years old. On my plate was a serving of ravioli, and there they rested for some time. Because my mom believed in the “you-either-eat-this-or-nothing” philosophy, I had very little choice but to succumb to the pressure of taking a bite of the Italian cheese pillows. I cannot recall what I thought after those initial bites, but I do remember the aftermath: me, isolated in the living room with a grape freeze pop watching as my mother cleaned up what remained of my dinner…on the floor. Continue reading →
Flavia would be proud of my apartment’s pantry. My love of Italian food is no secret, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that my D.C. kitchen is all but stocked with Italian staple ingredients. Considering items like … Continue reading →
My host dog is, or is supposed to be, on a diet. In light of the fact that all he seems to do all day is lie around, it doesn’t surprise me that he has a weight issue. But, as always, there is more attributed to his poor numbers on the scale than just his lack of exercise. The other culprit: Flavia’s delicious dinners.
Perhaps if Flavia was not such a good cook Charlie would be in better shape. But alas, Charlie is only two years old and already he has been advised by his veterinarian to start eating healthier. The problem for Charlie is that he really has no control over what he eats. Though I am sure he has no qualms about enjoying whatever it is in put in his bowl, he has no way of recognizing that the food he is consuming is contributing to his poor health state. How is a dog expected to lose weight when he is constantly being fed food too good for him to refuse? Continue reading →
I can remember when I was little and my mother warning me that if I ate too much of one thing, then I would turn into that food item. Oftentimes the warning followed when I gobbled down too many chicken nuggets or too many Oreos. Upon hearing this idea, I would imagine myself morphing into a strange mass of breaded chicken or stumbling up the stairs as a giant chocolate cookie.
If this really were the case, it is likely that after more than three months living abroad today I would resemble either spaghetti, penne, farfalle, or maybe even orecchiette. In light of my newfound beverage of choice, I might imagine that instead of blood, my veins would also be readily pumping wine. Continue reading →
I have been in a food coma for nearly three months.
Living in Italy is like living in gastronomic heaven. From the Nutella to the cheese and the pasta to the pizza, not a single day has gone by that has left me unsatisfied. The food is perhaps one of the best benefits of Georgetown’s program at Villa le Balze. For students who want their tuition money to include a good meal plan, the villa is the place to study.
Equipped with its own kitchen staff, the villa serves the students and faculty the most genuine and satisfying meals each day. Lunch is a three course, hour-plus experience that affords diners the opportunity to explore the regions of Italy through their stomachs. The meal typically begins with a starch, such as risotto or pasta, made with the best in-season ingredients. When was the last time risotto with speck or pasta con i pomodori secchi (pasta with sundried tomatoes) was on the menu at Leo’s?
To read more, check out the original post for Georgetown’s weekly magazine The Guide.
“In a country called Bengodi…there was a mountain made entirely of grated Parmesan cheese, on which lived people who did nothing but make macaroni and ravioli and cook them in capon broth. And then they threw them down, and the more of them you took, the more you had. And nearby ran a rivulet of white wine whose better was never drunk, and without a drop of water in it.” –Decameron, Day 8, Tale 3
If wine flows through Italians veins, then pasta lines their stomachs; Italians live, breathe, and, of course, eat pasta. Continue reading →
This week I am kicking off a series devoted to Italian cuisine. One might think that food would be the only thing I would want to write about, but it has been a minimal subject thus far on my blog. … Continue reading →
As I wrote a few weeks ago, the kitchen is an Italian woman’s domain, thereby it requires a lot of courage to invade such space. Taking into account how much I love to cook, I anticipated dividing my time between studying academics at the Villa and learning the secrets of how to cook in the kitchen like a true Italian woman. In the time that I have been here, however, I have not prepared anything in the kitchen other than my breakfast bowl of cereal. So after a few weeks in Florence, Emily and I decided that it was time we took to the kitchen.
On a typical weekend all students studying in the Villa program are on their own for Saturday meals and for Sunday lunch. Wishing to avoid another restaurant bill and anxious to give Flavia a break from cooking, Emily and I concocted a plan to shop and prepare dinner for our host mother. We began our mission with a trip to Il Mercato Centrale in central Florence. With a large assortment of vendors selling nearly every Italian pantry item one might possibly need, the indoor marketplace is a gastronomic heaven. Meat vendors touting prosciutto and tripe, hand-made pastas with fresh sauces, seasonal fruits and vegetables, a wide selection of dried fruits and nuts: you name it and the market has it. I could have spent hours browsing through the stalls because nearly everything I saw (excluding the tripe and other indistinguishable meats) was something that I wanted to buy in order to prepare a grand Italian feast. Fortunately for my wallet, Emily and I had a list of ingredients in mind, which restrained me from going wild. Continue reading →