Monday, May 17, 2010
Food in Italy
Can you believe I asked Jon to take this picture but didn't go inside? "No, no", I said, "I just like to look." It's true: I love to look at nicely displayed bakeries and candy stores, especially when they use shiny printed tin or cellophane. Some of the tarts in this display have wild strawberries on them! Paradiso!
But what was I thinking "just looking"? Everyone talks about Italian food so what I say won't matter. I could never get past course two so never had any desserts. Heartbreak.
The last night in Florence I went into a really pricey chocolate store and ordered a very small custom box of filled chocolates, two of each, thinking if I liked the taste I'd share it with Jon. NO SHARE! I didn't eat them till I got home and they were exquisite. One had champagne inside that dribbled right down my chin. Another had an apricot inside with the pit still inside the apricot. I wish I could go back and buy one of everything in the store just for me.
These were ravioli. They made me feel like I was really small because they were such giant tubes, in a walled Medieval city. They were really good, just fennel and leek but they probably snuck some animal thing in there because they even serve salami at breakfast in the hotels we stayed in.
Such pretty lettuce. We went to a great farmer's market in Genoa for more "just looking." Genoa is a nifty place to visit.
Our last night in Rome we were sent to a restaurant by the hotel, (and that's not a good idea. There's some kind of kick back going on.) We were served this artistic starter, which was filled with a wonderful artichoke mousse, but then my main course, sea bass first shown to me on a big platter before anything had been done to it, (John the B?) was sea bass with cheese sauce which didn't seem very Italian and was a bit creepy.
Blogger seems to have a limit on pictures to post. I was an experimental eater in Italy: whatever sounded weird but within my range I'd order. Why not? After a very weird sea food pasta Jon stuck to tomato sauce. I think the dishes he ordered were probably tastier, but now I know what not to order!
The regional thing is sometimes claustrophobic but sometimes terrific. Anywhere in Lucca where you ordered bruschetta it came with gloppy chicken liver topping. EUW! In Genoa a wonderful artichoke quiche like thing was on all menus. (no spiky chokes.)
Loved that all our hotels served blood orange juice for breakfast, even if sometimes it seemed to be cut with Kool-Aid. Campari Orange is a wondrous drink in Rome and comes with a grilled cheese sandwich whether you want one or not.
Truly disgusting that horse is on the menu but they don't provide translation. Figured it out too late or would have definitely boycotted a restaurant in Rome where we had lunch twice.
So how's that for the uninformed traveler passing through one of the most elegant gastronomic areas in the whole entire world?
Worst meal? Pizza! Right outside the Vatican!