I have officially been in Italy for one week. Yay! Hopefully
I’ll have more opportunities to explore and take pictures soon.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my diet. And the average American versus Italian diet
in general. Let me being point out,
before I go any further, that I am a picky eater. A VERY picky eater. As in, the chances of you finding someone who
is a pickier eater than me are slim to none.
Unless they are on some variation of a diet, most Americans
eat three decent sized meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dinner is usually the largest meal of the
day. Italians, however, do not eat three
meals a day. Breakfast barely exists
here. For most people, it is simply an
espresso to get their days going. Some
venture out to have some sort of sweet bread, usually a croissant - I really
wouldn’t even consider that a breakfast.
Lunch is the largest meal of the day.
There is a lot to eat at dinnertime as well, but not quite as much as
for lunch. Italians also eat meals later
in the day. At the earliest lunch and
dinner begin at 1pm and 8pm, respectively.
Personally, I love having dinner later in the day, though I don’t really
have any specific reasoning as to why I prefer it.
For some reason there are foods that I have eaten since
being here that I would never willingly eat in America. And I’m not talking about complex dishes or
specialties – I’m talking about food such as zucchini, vegetable soup, and
hamburger. The real kicker? I actually like them. In my defense, the hamburger meat here is not
ground up quite like in America, and I am very much about the texture of my
food. Plus, there is all of the olive
oil to consider. Literally, everything
is cooked with olive oil. The only time
anything is cooked with butter is if someone is specifically making buttered
noodles. Olive oil is slowly becoming my
new best friend.
I’ve also had the chance to observe the mother when she
cooks some of our meals because she likes to use that opportunity for us to
speak in English together. (She very determined to improve her English so as to
benefit her daughter while growing up)
Not only do I enjoy watching her cook, but I have also learned how to
make some of the dishes that my Italian nonna
made for me four years ago when I was a foreign exchange student! Really though, it’s a great feeling. Plus, it’s a lot easier for me to ask
questions about Italian food now, because the mother speaks decent English and
my Italian is loads better than it was four years ago (aka nonexistent).
For Italians, food is not simply what makes up their diets -
it is what makes up their lifestyle.
Their lives revolve around food.
That might be part of the reason I love it here so much… And why the Mediterranean lifestyle/diet is
one of the most revered in the world.
Great, now I’m craving pizza.