Saturday, September 10, 2016

Dining in Rome & Venice

If Elizabeth Gilbert had dedicated a chapter of her life to the pleasures and delight of dining in Italy, and Dean Martin so much so longingly professed that your eyes could go big as pizza pie as amore, synonym to finding one's mojo back in life, or being in love or better yet, better than love itself........

One can only imagine the passion, intensity and life the Italian meals can create in most of us, for them to profess their surrender to these delicious cuisines.

1. They love their sweet life 
If we haven't already known, the Italians are notorious for being the world's most romantic, most pleasurable people in the world. They love a good life, and love a good way of living life. And what better way to celebrate life than through food. Italians usually start their day with dolce which basically means 'sweet' or anything sweet. I don't really take sweet stuff in the morning.. but you know what they say, when in Rome.......

If they're not puffed in sugar, or baked till golden brown and filled to the brim with cream, then don't even. This pastry below has rich baileys filling, and there's only one time it's good to indulge it at: 9.00am of course.



2. When in doubt, gelato 
First, the flavours. Try having to decide from an array of at least 20 flavours from a gelato parlour and then having to stumble another option of 20 to 30 flavours right next door after finishing the painfully delicious Pistachio gelato, you just ever had in your life. Next door you see lime sorbet, Nutella cream, rum and raisin and a million more. How does anyone ever stop trying these flavours? How do you ever claim the previous' was the best you've had? You just can't.

If you feel the need to fill those walks with a munch or put some perspective back in your life, I think you're gonna have to gelato. And please don't blame me when after half a day's walk you probably had 2 or 3 just before your next lunch adventure, I did warn you - because really, how do you successfully pass by the walks  in the beautiful city without having one cone in your hand all the time?

Everyone will forgive you for having cream all over your face, so just go for it. Life is short.





3. Every hour, is happy hour 
Never have I drank various aperitives so much in one seating in my life than I did when I was in Italy. From trying a type of bread; drink, to sampling a type of cheese; drink, to just asking how things are back home; drink, to talking about the host's beautiful home; drink, to playing with the pets; drink, to eating a small cracker; drink. Drink, drink, drink.

But what's rich about the experience is that, for once - finally, that the beverage or aperitif in this case is no longer the supplementary to a meal but equal. To the meat and salad on the table, and may even surpass its relevance to the other meals.

Because what's a good meal, without the good feeling a drink gives? :P

And yes, every hour every second of dining in Italy gives you the allowance to enjoy a good drink or two, from world's best grapes from the best farms, to the finest champagnes. How do you say no to a drink?!



4. Fresh produce 
As one of world's most sustainable country, of growing own produce; Italy's fresh produce are what other parts of the world are so envious about at times. At the top of my mind I can think of cheeses, tomatoes, vegetables, mushrooms, grapes.

I have this theory that it's almost impossible to not have a good meal in Italy because of the fresh produce. Impossible. Fresh and delicious as it is, take the time to make your own Italian meal and you're done.




5. Cheese, cheese and more cheese 
Every Italian meal seems to be pairing it with a blob of cheese, or some cuts of feta or a bag of parmesan. EVERY. No one seems to be holding back with their cheese, and why is it every other parts of the world are making cheese the ultimate villain of all time?! 

I will never know why the need of cheeses in every Italian meal, and why aren't there much more in other parts of the world but I'm not here to understand life - I'm here to live it :P 

And also, nothing compares to their freshly made cheese, produced from home and cut fresh straight to your plate. Italy makes me understand the need of cheese in every meal, like, vegetables with cheese? Yes. Bread with cheese, yes? Wine with cheese? YES. 



6. Simplicity at best 
If being your own chef from no 4 doesn't tell you a thing or two about how amazing Italian's fresh produces are than you'd only need to confirm that from enjoying their simplest meals: Fresh tomatoes with pastas.

At every nook and cranny of the world there's a "Western Restaurant" which features either pizzas, pastas or salad which mostly inspired by Italian food. Some are heavily slobbed with cheese, locale herbs and ingredients, but if you go back to where these inspirations are from; Italy, it really is as simple as a toss of tomato into pasta.

Unfortunately, this was one of the trip that converted me into being so particular with my Italian meals, that I would bite my tongue when I see a heavily done bolognese spaghetti. I'm sorry, trips changed me. I would still enjoy and love all the pastas, but I fell in love with Italy's spaghetti bolognese so much, I must have left my heart in those pastas somewhere.



7. And last but not least, coffees 
When I first arrived Rome, the first thing I wanted to ask anyone was - why are Italians so big on coffees? I Googled, and asked but no one seem to know the exact history or story of how coffees have evolved so much in the lives of average Italians.

I know they have a machine which they've created to produce fresh coffees so easily, where it separates the powder and the mixture (I used this every morning in Venice, it's not automatic it's manual) and of course the espresso machine which everyone knows.

But besides the machines, I have yet to get the answer how Italians develop this immense love for their coffee culture so much, and my assumption is that they were the first few in the world to have open up the famous cafes and energise the coffee culture. And like every thing Italians put their heart into it, it becomes an art.

It's almost impossible to ignore the coffee culture in Italy, every morning we would make coffees from the machine itself and the smell that fills up the room after the brew-- oh my god. It's amazing. Half of your day is made just from the smell of their coffees.

Talking so much about coffees, besides just at home we barely have it outside because we never know which to order hahaha lol. And also, the meals are so heavy we often pair them with just plain water. But if there's anything we must try..... it's the tiramisu.

Jessy and I took it upon ourselves to try the different types of tiramisu. They're amazing.



I only have so little ways to describe my Italian dining experience, because I was often left speechless at/ during/ before and after every meal. Simple, intense, passionate, complex are the very few reasons why their food, and experience in general are world's famous.

There's almost like a song playing in your head in every Italian meal. Enjoy your next Italian meal, and remember - sometimes, it's better than love :p

Read more of my Italy posts:
A day's out in Venice in Spring / Venice 
Dining in Rome and Venice 
Rome by Foot 
Airbnb at Venice 
Cost of Self planned 10 days / 9 nights - Venice & Rome
That day we saw the Pope by chance 

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice entry. Enjoyed reading your adventure!-melissa