Sunday, December 2, 2012

highlights: italia-style -- the food.

So...approximately two months post my trip to Italy, I finally got a captive audience for the necessary time (4+ hours) to share every single solitary detail of my adventure. After the marathon rundown, my poor fousins did not quite have the stamina to view the RIDICULOUS amount of pictures, but they gave it the old college try and lasted significantly longer than I ever would have. I mean, really, who can be interested in 300 pictures of just the roman forum alone?

However, all this talking and photo looking got me inspired to document more of my trip on the 'ole blog, mostly for posterity sake. I figured I could break up my experiences into the subjects of my blog: Food, Faith, and Fun. Included in faith will be God's glorious creation and I will add one more that will be man-made beauty (art and architecture). I'll keep my musings brief and let the photos do the talking.


In the event that it wasn't perfectly clear, Napoletana pizza was my favorite food before I went to Italy and Napoletana pizza is my favorite food since I've been. Christy and I had it every night with the exception of one. Basically, since we were trying to pack SO much in such a short time, we did not stop for meals throughout the day, but made it a point to sit down to a long, leisurely dinner (pretty late) every night. We usually ate after about 10pm. When I relayed this to my dad, he promptly concluded that I had "found my people." I would have to agree...

At any rate, breakfast was usually coffee (espresso or cappucino for me) and some bites of a pastry. My favorite coffee was at Cafe Greco in Roma which was established in the 17th century--true story! I got caffe fredo shakerado which was espresso shaken over ice. Everyone (the locals) would order their shots (of espresso) and just throw them back at the bar and be on their way. I LOVED it.

Speaking of pastries (or was I?), I have never seen more beautiful food items in my life. I know the french are supposed to be the queens (or kings) of pastry, but it's hard to believe these couldn't rival even the best french pastry chef. Every night I had either a pastry or gelato, but I think about 90% of the time, it was a pastry. My favorite was this amazing chocolate pastry I had on my first night, but honestly, I wouldn't call any of them less than great.

Now that you are contemplating licking the screen, let's move in to something savory, shall we? Enter glorious pizza, stage right. Oh baby, this stuff was good. We definitely had our share of tradish margherita with creamy buffalo mozzarella (who knew it actually came from buffalo's milk? everyone? okay, don't answer that), but we also mixed it up with eggplant, prosciutto, mushrooms, and even seafood. That's right, you heard me, seafood on pizza. It was actually the best pizza we had and it was on our last night in Positano. You haven't lived until you've had heart-shaped frutti de mare pizza on the Amalfi Coast. Talk about living in a dream. That was me the entire time.

And just to make sure that I didn't like pasta, I told Christy that we had to try it at least twice while we were in Italy. Sure, it was good and all, and I certainly wouldn't turn my nose up to it if it was served to me, but I'm not one to date around so my heart belongs to pizza. In case you're curious, we had spaghetti carbonara and gorgonzola gnocchi.

There were also various seafood dishes, salads, sides, cheeses, and wine enjoyed throughout, so here's a smattering of pictures to document some of these delightful nibbles as well as some shots of the charming little establishments that we frequented.

And what would be a trip to Italy without copious amounts of gelato? Not any kind of trip I would want to be a part of, that's for sure! Now I must admit that I'm not a huge frozen dessert afficianado. I mean, if given the option between ice cream and a baked good, I'll take the cake every single time. However, "when in Rome, do as the Romans do," and what is more Italian than strolling the streets whilst enjoying a heaping cone of gelato. Naturally, gelaterias are a dime a dozen in Italy, so we certainly had our fair share. I particularly enjoyed the establishments that allowed three flavors in the small cone, because when it gets right down to it, I'm afraid of commitment and crave variety. My favorite flavors were definitely nutella, amaretto, coffee, tiramisu, and sfogliatella. While my cousin Elisa didn't give me a huge to-do list when I met with her pre-trip, she did emphatically insist that I absolutely MUST have gelato from Old Bridge in Vatican City. She couldn't give me the exact location, but of course, God was in control and we happened to pass by it on our way to the Vatican Museum. Praise the Lord because if there is one thing my cousin knows (and of course, she knows much more), it's gelato, and she did not steer me wrong. It was BY FAR, the most amazing gelato we had on our trip--so good, we had to go back on our last day in Italy and I'm still dreaming about it. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Elisa!!! Now prepare yourself for gelato picture overload. I like to call it my "ode to gelato."

So there you have it. Part 1 of my Italia Highlights installment. Food, glorious food. While it was great, it still doesn't hold a candle to the Faith and Fun sections...hopefully, I'll actually get around to posting those. Until then, Ciao Bella!


Lianna McCabe said...

I LOVED this post! Thanks for sharing some pictures! You look so beautiful and made me so hungry! hahah LOVE YOU!

elisa said...

ummmmmmmmmmmm, can I just say your words and pictures have left me completely craving Italy in all its' different rays of glory. I love every bit of food posted in this post (as you well know) and we just have to give the glory to God for Old Bridge. Something that good could only originate from the Creator's heart for His little children. I am OBSESSED of that photo of you in St. Peter's square. I mean really!?!? St. Peter's + Rachie + AMAZING SKY + Old Bridge Gelato. Well I might cry with longing to live this combination. Thank you for sharing and we had a delightful time hearing about your trip. It was such a blessing to hear how wonderful our Lord is again. He will tell us that story over and over in our lives, and I love hearing it in someone else's life. I told Ale a couple of the crazy things that happened to y'all and she was in disbelief. LOVE YOU, fuzz and SO happy you finally went to the motherland. Cin Cin to more trips to Italy!!