Mm mm good

This is another post wholly dedicated to something we all know and love: food.

Eating is somewhat of a ritual here. I’ve never been in a place where food is so… respected. Mealtimes are generally adhered to, the family gathers around the table together, and the food is savored. Meals aren’t rushed and all courses are taken in stride: first, the pasta, then the meat, then salad and fruit, and sweets to finish it off.  The TV is usually on in the background, turned to the cooking channel (or once, we even watched an Italian-dubbed episode of “Cake Boss” that was showing). Conversation flows as hands reach across the table, snatching another piece of bread or grabbing the bottle of olive oil. At the end of it all, you can’t help but feel satisfied. And I don’t just mean your stomach.

Disclaimer: I should note that this has been my personal experience, so I can’t guarantee it’s like this across the board. But I hope it is. Because that would make the world a happier place.

Now it’s time for Round 2 of the pictures (Round 1 was back in Life of the Party). Brace yourself—there are quite a few.

The life of the party

No, I’m not talking about me. I’m talking about food.

Think about it, and be honest with yourself. When you arrive at a party, one of the first things on your to-do list is to locate the food table. Are there chips, maybe some salsa and queso? How about birthday cake? And don’t underestimate the popularity of the veggie tray (although I feel like every time I see one of those, everything is gone except for the cauliflower. What do people have against cauliflower??).

So let’s talk about food. Specifically, Italian food. Because it’s the most magical stuff on earth.

The first time I eat a home-cooked meal in Italy, I sit at the table and a heaping pile of pasta is placed before me. I drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the noodles (olive oil goes on pretty much everything here), followed by freshly grated parmesan cheese. I bring a spoonful up to my lips and breathe in before taking a bite.

Ahh. So this is what perfection tastes like.

As soon as the pasta has vanished from my plate, Arianna takes my dish from me and asks if I’m ready for the carne, or meat. Oh. I guess they do courses here. Note to self: don’t fill up on the pasta.

Here are a few examples of the food I’ve come across so far on my trip. For a slideshow with descriptions, click on one of the pictures. Buon appetito.