Friday, June 24, 2011

When in Rome...

Well, I haven't been to Rome yet, but I have been living in Naples, Italy for almost a month now (Gricignano to be exact). This saying in it's full  context ("when in Rome, do as the Romans do") has provided a good guiding principle that I've adapted for my time in Italy. Basically, (according to the ever-reliable Wikipedia) St. Ambrose's advice was to immerse oneself in the culture around them; to accept it and learn it and enjoy it. Well, for a dietitian who writes a blog about food, this of course applies to eating! I decided before I left for Italy that for the next 2 years (at least) I am going to eat real food. Like the Italians. I will abandon Splenda and low fat milk and turkey bacon and I will eat pasta and gelato and drink wine with dinner (and lunch too if I want to), and I will like it! In 3 short weeks here, I think I'm well on my way to eating like an Italiano. I've had pasta in some form almost daily, pizza at least twice a week, I am practically on a first name basis with the woman at the wine store, and I realized with amusement that I think I've eaten bacon more times in the last month that I have in my whole life prior to being in Italy (and married). I saw my dad's eyes glisten with pride when I told him this on skype. (AND I still fit into all my skinny jeans in case you're wondering).

Granted there are some traditions that my American body and mindset just can't adjust to. For example, I am and always have been a breakfast eater. I still believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but in Italy if your breakfast is anything more than a chocolate-filled pastry and cappucino- then you're really pushing it. I would likely pass out if I tried to survive on sugar and caffeine alone until mid afternoon (which is when they eat lunch). I also am not quite sold on their dinner schedules. Dinner usually doesn't begin until 9 or 10pm, by which point it would become unsafe to be within a 10 foot radius of me because I would likely try to eat your arm off. A lot of the restaurants don't even open until 7pm, and IF there's anyone there at that time, you can 100% count on them being American.

I look forward to writing about my Italian adventures and the wonderful food. I told Chris semi-seriously after the first week that if I had to choose between traveling Europe or staying in Naples and just eating yummy food, I would choose the food. It's that good! Among my personal food-related goals for the next few years: master homemade tomato sauce (they have the best tomatoes here!), learn to make biscotti, and learn to drink espresso (caffe) without milk-straight up. Chris desires for me to become a little bit more of a wine critic, because so far I just say "I like it!" about every wine we've tried. I say, maybe every wine in Italy is good! Until next time, Buon appetito!

4 comments:

  1. Suzanne Schlossberg TamberrinoJune 24, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    What a grand adventure!! Looking forward to reading more about your life in Italy. And, yes, I'm a little jealous! ;)

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  2. I enjoy reading about food. What self-respecting dietitian doesn't? And you're making me salivate. I want to be there with you. The food and the wine, oh my! Hope you're enjoying the evening passeggiata, too. Keep up the posts!

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  3. I will be following your adventures. What a grand way to start married life. Plus I want to learn how to make a great pizza dough and a great pizza sauce. So when you find out, please share and make us all happy.

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  4. I can not wait to read about more adventures! Missing you! xoxo

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