By: Michelle Sabolchick Pettinato
Part 1: It’s not all about the gig
Naples, Italy- there’s the sea and the mountains and the greenery and the food. Dinner began with prosciutto, parma ham, fresh mozzarella, followed by squid with garlic and olive oil, then roasted peppers, zucchini, eggplant, all delicious (well I didn’t actually eat the squid, but everything else) . Next came huge bowls of pasta, linguine vongole or pomodoro and that was just the main course. Second course was meat, fish, or chicken, which I didn’t stay for because I was stuffed.
Second day in Italy, it’s all about the food. The hospitality and the food here could make you cry, unbelievable. Florence, dinner began with ziti in pomodoro sauce, tuscan bread salad, then steamed vegetables, roasted peppers, zucchini, eggplant, roasted potatoes with rosemary, tray after tray of food kept coming out of the kitchen all cooked by Anna, your typical Italian grandmother, and let me tell you there would be hell to pay if you did not “mangia”, after the roasted peppers came roasted turkey, then spinach quiche. Dessert was a delicious custardy creation served with espresso. I’ve got to come here for a month to learn how to cook, or maybe just to eat
I’m going to change subject here for a moment to explain the virtues of American toilet paper. You can’t really appreciate the choices we have as Americans until you find yourself heeding the call of nature in a foreign country. Here at home in the USA we have a mind boggling assortment of toilet paper choices…quilted, non quilted, single ply, two ply, lint free or not, and the list goes on. Most of us experience brand loyalty.
I’ll start with Germany, the toilet paper in Germany certainly didn’t stray far from it’s roots and by roots I mean the roots of the tree it grew on (paper does come from trees right?) well German toilet paper is very much still like the bark from the tree where it began it’s conception.
South America- the toilet paper is like John Wayne…it don’t take no shit off of nobody. Italy- there seems to be a shortage of toilet seats. The toilet paper is coming along nicely and that’s a good thing because you can at least line the rim of the bowl with it or you can practice your squatting and really get those glutes in shape. Toilet seat or not, it’s a vast improvement over the conditions I found on my first trip to Italy about ten years ago; upon entering a stall in a public restroom I did not even find a toilet, just a hole in the ground and two handle bars to hang on to while you squat. A good old fashioned American porta john would have been a welcome sight.
Modena, Italy- you have got to see this, the toilets are “turkish style”, you’ll have to google that -Turkish Style Toilets and check out the images.
My culinary tour of Italy is over. So sad. It ended in Rimini which is the Italian equivalent of the French Riviera. Very nice. You South beach fans would love it. After spending all those days in Italy enjoying the Italian hospitality and the food that never stops coming, Brooklyn-Italian wedding receptions somehow makes sense.
Stay tuned for part two!