Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Italian Perspective

If you've noticed a lack of posts from us, it's because we spent the last few weeks indulging in all that Italy has to offer. As we get back to DC life, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the things we learned in a place that clearly knows its way around a kitchen.

Wine doesn't have to be expensive. The house Chianti was routinely excellent and about the same price as a large bottle of water.

We tried plenty of arancini but couldn't find anything that we liked more than Taylor Gourmet's risotto balls.

There is no reason to settle for the tourist menu when you can use a handy app (we loved EatRome and EatFlorence) to find a "locals" spot.

Nothing was better on a cold day than hot stew on fresh bread (think: bread bowl) served by Italian grandmothers. If this isn't a food truck in DC, someone needs to get on that.

Italy's Surgeon General needs to step it up with the "smoking will kill you" warnings. Second-hand smoke certainly kills a great meal.

Simple prep and fresh ingredients. Even in the fanciest kitchens, that's all you need.

When you have high quality dry pasta, it can be made to taste like it is was made fresh that day.

Of all the amazingly beautiful things we saw, the produce stands held their own.

It is hard for us to admit, but there is a thing as too much bacon.

Deep frying an artichoke is not a good idea. It is a great idea.

Gelato just tastes better in Italy. Even when it is cold outside.

Touring the many sites on foot makes you feel better about the huge amount of calories you'll consume that day. And nothing beats a good pair of travel walking shoes (but the Italians' ability to walk in high designer heels on ancient cobblestone streets is astounding).

The concept of "slow down and savor each bite" is pervasive in Italy. We could learn a lot from them.

There's no place like home (and your own bed and shower).

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