Grazie, Vaiano! A Small City In Tuscany And Lunch With Friends

I have to admit that I’m not much of a foodie. I know, I know, STOP SHOUTING AT ME! I’m kind of a freak in that regard. However, there are a few cooks in Italy that could easily have me sitting around all day stuffing my face. Two of them are the mother and father of  our close friend, Leo. His parents are located in Vaiano, and they are incredible cooks. They cook typical Tuscan/Florentine cuisine, and speak Italian with a heavy Florentine accent. The last time we were there they told us a cute story about our friend and how he couldn’t spell. Florentines pronounce their “c” as an “h” so when our friend was in kindergarten, he was spelling his name phonetically with an “h” instead of a “c” which is kind of adorable, guys. His parents are super cute and I’m currently on a campaign to get them to adopt me. Anyhow! Here was the last lunch with them in their apartment in Vaiano, Italy. Also, if anyone knows how to make this rolled bread/carne dish below, PLEASE TELL ME. I’m not even sure I know what it’s called, I’ve only ever eaten it at their home. It was amazing.

And Leo: Face-lick.

Dining In Italy: How To Avoid Making An Ass Out Of Yourself At The Dinner Table

I was checking my stats this week and there were an unusual number of people searching for “how to dine in Italy,” along with the usual searches like, “Italian hot mom sex,” and “Unicorn penis,” and, “How to pee in public,” WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE!? Freaks, that’s who! And that’s why I like you guys so much, you pervy weirdos. Anyhow, I realized that I’ve never really written anything about etiquette in Italy. Despite peeing in public, I’m surprisingly anal retentive when it comes to table manners. I’ve broken up with people for chewing with their mouths open. Rude dining or gross dining is on my list of reasons to kill or at least maim a person. I know, it’s ridiculous, but it’s not my fault. My parents are crazy people. When I was a kid if I reached “outside of my space” my mom would stab my hand with a fork (not like hard enough for me to bleed to death or cause infection, but hard enough that I regretted it). And guys, I went to finishing school. I’m pretty sure that you can’t tell (nobody can tell, trust me), but I did so I know which fork is which and I can totally drink out of the appropriate glass at the millions of formal dinner parties that I NEVER ATTEND AND NEVER HAVE BECAUSE IT’S BORING. Basically, it’s a bit waste of time and money, unless you’re planning on moving to Europe. Then that useless shit becomes kind of useful. Sort of.

MANY FOODS THAT YOU THINK EXIST IN ITALY REALLY DON’T, SO DON’T BE A PAIN IN THE ASS.

I’ve witnessed so many embarrassing situations in Italy that really explain why Europeans view Americans as pompous, entitled, lunatics. You’d be shocked by the behavior of a lot of tourists. Please, people, don’t come to Italy and scream at waiters because you had your heart set on eating a made-up dish. The food that a lot of people consider to be “Italian” in the United States is not Italian food from Italy. It’s immigrant creations by  impoverished Italian immigrants, generations ago. I’ve witness full-on screaming fights between Italian-Americans and ACTUAL ITALIANS where the Americans were lecturing the Italians on how to cook Italian food. One of my friends/ readers wrote a comment a while back (that’s you, Sid) about a heated exchange she’d witnessed whilst in Italy between an Italo-American family and an actual Italian waitress where they claimed to know more about Italian food than her and there was screaming and name-calling involved. I have tried to put myself in that situation to understand what could possibly motivate people to actually do or say such insane things but alas the only thing that I can come up with is that they are assholes. That’s it. Continue reading

Authentic Italian Food Might Look Different Than You Think (Chicken Alfredo is not a real dish)

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Living In Italy: Cassino And More Food (Another Six Hour Lunch)

 

As most of you know, I’ve been in Cassino with my in-laws (HOLY FUCKING SHIT!) for nearly two weeks now. We’re staying here to spend time with everyone before we head to the US for the holidays and to take care of some ‘MERCA things (like me trying to get Surviving In Italy published in book form! WOO HA!). But don’t worry! I have many-a-posts saved for you, plus I’ll be posting about importing F for a minute (should be good). Anyways, two weeks with the in-laws is a long time even if your father-in-law is Jesus Christ and your Mother-In-Law is Mother Theresa which mine ARE NOT. They are actually borderline insane who I love even if my father-in-law keeps calling me a “fucking retard” and my mother-in-law keeps telling me that my hair is ugly (when do I get sainted?). Acceptance is one of the first steps to recovery, my friends.

Whew. Anyways, all that F and I do here is eat, drink coffee, hide in the bedroom, and protect Oliver from my in-laws who think he needs “more discipline” and believe they are “helping” us by brandishing a broom at him. The one good thing about it all is that they are giving me so much fodder for my blog AND really great food shots with the series of SIX HOUR LUNCHES we’ve attended this week. The food is generally amazing but so, soooo much of it. Viola! Here is a lunch that went from 1-6 . Someone bring me Pepto.

La Tavola

La Tavola

Salad. Okay, it's SALAD but I liked the shot.

Salad. Okay, it’s SALAD but I liked the shot.

Polenta. Mmmm.

Polenta. Mmmm.

More Salad. I'm SORRY! STOP YELLING AT ME!

More Salad. I’m SORRY! STOP YELLING AT ME!

BABY BIRD STEW. What. The. Fuck?

BABY BIRD STEW. What. The. Fuck?

Wild Pheasant

Wild Pheasant

Bread with salame baked inside

Bread with salame baked inside

Wine is not complete without cheese puffs also known as FONZIES.

Wine is not complete without cheese puffs also known as FONZIES.

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Your Questions Answered: Flying To Italy With Pets, How To Taste Wine, And Cooking Classes In Florence

I get a lot of questions about a lot of different things. I might not write back right away but I keep the questions in a notepad and I try to answer them here when I have a chance. Here is some stuff I found while stalking the internet and it answers some of your questions about Florence Italy. 

I get a lot of questions about pets. Florence is a very, very pet-friendly city. You should definitely bring your dog, cat, alligator, whatever but you should research flying and airlines first. It can be kind of tricky. So, if you have a pet and want to bring him/her with you when you move to Italy, both of these are great websites: Flying With Pets & Traveling With Pets.  

If you’re planning a long vacation in Florence or you’re coming to study or live you should try to take at least a few cooking classes. I love learning how to cook here. It’s incredibly fun and a really good idea for a date (fun, romantic, messy). Want to learn how to cook in Florence, Italy? You need to check out the Cordon Bleu School. 

Moving to Italy for the wine (who isn’t)? Avoid looking like a novice by reading this article before you arrive on How To Taste Wine

Mamma Rosa Part 1, Cellole Italy. 2013. Melanzane alla Parmigiana (Eggplant Parmesan)

This blog, ComeTiPiace (pronounced comeh tee pee-awsh), meaning “how you like it,” is seriously awesome. The blog documents the journey of a young Italian man as he travels throughout Italy visiting different homes to learn how to cook some of the family’s favorite dishes. He posts recipes, photos of the cooking process as well as short bios of the people he visits. If you want to learn how to cook authentic Italian food I promise you that it does not get more authentic than this. Here is the latest post:

Mamma Rosa Part 1, Cellole Italy. 2013. Melanzane alla Parmiggiana (Eggplant Parmesan).

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Europeans And Their Long Ass Vacations OR Misty Becomes A Pirate While Drunk In France

Hello my humans! I’m not dead, I took a break. In August Europeans flee their cities for the coasts and some, like my husband, get one month of paid vacation. ONE MONTH! Can you imagine? I just returned from a week vacation with F and two of his friends. We drove from Italy to Barcelona and on the way back we stopped in Blanes Spain, Montpellier France, and Arles France. Drank too much, suffered a suicide level depression (weeee!), ate the best food of my life, and talked a boat captain into letting me on his empty cruise ship at 4 a.m. last night to drink with the his crew. I can be persuasive when alcohol is in question (or more accurately I seem mentally disabled and people feel sorry telling me no).

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