I heard before that Italians were a bit fuzzy about food, this is absolutely not true: they are VERY fuzzy!
But it’s absolutely comprehensible, because if you know an Italian or even better, had the opportunity to visit Italy, you have probably noticed this:
- Italians are always talking about food
Maybe not to you, but put two Italians together and they will talk about food, not ALL the time, but MOST of the time. If they cook, they talk about the dishes they have made or the dishes they are planning to make. If they don’t cook, they talk about their mother’s cooking or what they have for dinner on family reunions and Christmas. They talk about how good sea food and tomatoes are in Italy and how difficult and expensive is it to find decent vegetables in London, and if they have lived in London long enough, they talk about the places where you can get Italian products or how to import an authentic Pan D’Oro for the holidays.
- Italian culture is all about food.
There are few things nicer than going on holidays to Italy and sitting with your friends or family for a full Italian meal. What an experience! First you have the antipasto, which is most of the times some beautiful salami cuts and ham followed by some cheeses, and if you’re lucky, also ‘provolone’ that is a chunky smoked cheese that tastes like heaven.
Then the ‘primo piatto’, the first dish, which will be most of the times a plate full of delicious pasta al dente or a creamy risotto. After comes the ‘secondo piatto’ which is a dish of meat of fish followed by the salad. And after the meal comes a plate full of fruit: all of this, obviously accompanied by mineral water and a rich glass of wine, or two or three…
You are then ready for an ‘espresso’ which is a coffee that shocked me, it was the tiniest and strongest coffee I have ever drunk, it literally had four drops: is the perfect size coffee for a Barbie. And last but not least, dessert!
So if you do this once or twice a day, you probably need to spend the rest of the day cooking this great dishes, then you start to understand why their culture turns around food.
So my boyfriend as a good Italian is always talking about food, especially pizza. As a good Italian also, he can only eat ‘high profile’ pizzas, so he is teaching me how to find a good pizza in London, and this is what I have learned from his behaviour:
- Ask an Italian’s recommendation. It can never go wrong
- When in a restaurant, if you can’t find the word ‘Napolitana’ somewhere, run away
- If you see the word pineapple, run away
- If they don’t have a wooden oven, run away
- If the place is full of Italians and you need to queue, be patient, it will be worth it.
If you have never hanged around Italians you probably never cared about your pizza, you probably buy them anywhere on the road at 3am after leaving a club and it tastes very good. For me on the other hand, finding a good pizza is nothing but easy, but if you look hard in London, and plan it and queue, you will find the best pizza in town, with the best base and ingredients that taste like heaven, and probably all this hassle will be worth it.
Living with an Italian