martedì 8 ottobre 2013

Mangiare in Italia

Italians take food very seriously so Let's do It seriously. 
We have a lot of specialties, each region and city has its own ones. Generally every Italian is so proud of his/her own home kitchen because these recipes are a sort of heritage passed on to future generations.
Personally, even If I had the chance to grow up with my grandma, so to be part of her kitchen and family tradition, I am really open to new cookery experiences. When I travel, I am very curious to understand how people eat and to improve and train my taste. My trips always start from the food market.
I do believe in what Monsieur Brillat-Savarin, a French lawyer and gastronome, said: "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are!"
Believe me, the best test for your soul mate must be at the table...sometimes even before, at the supermarket.
In Italy, from North to South, you can find a lot of different eating places: Ristorante, Taverna, Osteria, Trattoria, Pizzeria. Once Taverna, Trattoria and Osteria  were more informal and rustic and so cheap places, nowadays more It's rustic more It's fancy. Indeed, there are a lot of Michelin-starred Taverna, Osteria and Trattoria.
If you have the chance to come to Italy and rent an apartment, It would be great to go to the food markets (andare al mercato/fare la spesa), to buy the meat "dal macellaio", the fish "dal pescivendolo", the veggies and fruit "dal fruttivendolo", the bread "dal panettiere" and to buy some desserts "dalla pasticceria" and some good wine "dall'enoteca". In Italy there is also a place out of time and so very dazzling: la salumeria. The translation should be a deli store, but It does not work well. La salumeria is mainly a store run by a family that sells cured meats, cheese but also everything you need for your meals (without many brand choices) so milk, yogurt, pasta, oil, biscuits, jams, etc. This salumeria is a sort of a small and cozy forefather of the modern and cold supermarket. This was the place where you passed before or after the school to buy la merendina, a little snack or some caramelle, candies.

Italian Menu could be like a Bible, many pages (tourist trap), many sections or a clear and simple  menu with 1 or 2 dish of the day. There are also a lot of places in which the menu is just a guide, namely the waiter will help you in the choice according to the fresh and on season products following the chef's inspiration and suggestion.
Generally, a complete Italian meal is made of 5 courses, quite long since It is not only food and eating. It is  a moment of sharing, thinking, relaxing.
Let's begin with antipasto (starter, appetizer) could be fried food, finger food, cold cuts, cheese, salads. Everything should be served in small quantities.
Primi, It is a pasta dish with a veggie/meat/fish sauce or a risotto and rarely a soup. Pasta, here, is very important, the shape used could literally change the taste and the final result. 
Secondi, It is a meat or a fish dish, usually accompanied with the veggies.
Dolce, It could be a gelato, ice cream, a piece of cake or just some fresh fruit.
Caffé, Amari e Liquori,  a coffee, a bitter or a liqueur, usually produced from fruit or plants (Limoncello, Mirto) to make an end to this experience.

The best tip I could give you whilst eating in Italy: relax, smell, look, taste, share, enjoy leisurely.

Eating is like sex a pure pleasure.

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