Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ate My Way Through The Mediterranean!

What can I say? It was like I went home when I stepped foot in Italy.
Everything was delicious! Everything was exquisite! Can you believe that in 1 week of hotels and eating out, we didn't have a bad meal once. Not once!
We spent a total of 1 week in Italy including a port day in Genoa and a port day in Mesina, Sicily.

Here is the break down:
2 days - Rome
1 day - Mignano (Near Monte Casino to visite family)
4 days - Positano on the Amalfi Coast
- Board the Cruise in Civitaveccio
1 day - Genoa
1 day - Marseille (France)
1 day - Barcelona (Spain)
1 day - Tunis (Africa)
1 day - Malta
1 day - Mesina (Sicily)

The whole food culture of the Mediterranean is too big and too wonderful to sum-up on a simple blog like mine, but I'll say this: Food is valued. Meals are not rushed. And, eating is pleasure.
For these reasons and more, this is why I believe that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world. The word 'diet' can not just refer to the food, but must encompass the lifestyle and the relationship to meals. Lunch is savored with friends and family. Crusty bread made with semolina flour is as much a table setting as a knife and fork. Good red wine washes everything down.

Meals went usually something like this:

Breakfast (7.00 – 11.00)
A light meal. Usually consisting of a cappuccino or coffee & brioche (type of croissant) at a bar (often standing up) or coffee and biscuits and possibly a piece of fruit at home.

Lunch (12.30 – 2.00 in the north, 1.30-3.30 South )
Antipasti (starters) typically salumi (cold hams, salami, small vegetables)
Primo piatto (1st course) usually rice (risotto) or pasta (or, more rarely, soup)
Secondi (2nd course) meat or fish, sometimes with potatoes or a starch and a sauce
Contorni (side dish) vegetables (vedure) or salad ( insalata)
* Needs to be ordered separately
Dolce (desert) includes cakes, ice creams etc, but usually seasonal fresh fruit
Caffé espresso
** During the week most Italians will eat at least a primo and secondi and probably fruit as well.
** For a special lunch all the above will be eaten.
For a very quick snack on the run, they will have a panino (filled roll) at the bar. Typical fillings are mozzarella cheese and pomodori (tomatoes) called "caprese" or prosciutto cotto (cooked ham) or prosciutto crudo (raw ham).

Dinner (8.00 – 10.00pm)
Depending on the person, dinner may be a lighter meal: ie: salad or either il primo or il secondo piatto. Many Italians (especially if eating out) will have the full works again, just because they love food. Going out for a pizza to a pizzeria (where else?) is also very popular.

Alright. Now that you have the background. I'll proceed to post the photos in the next post. Descriptions will be point form as there are many photos to see.

No comments:

Post a Comment