To anyone who wishes to hear about pizza, unfortunately, I will not go into depth about the pies. Don’t get me wrong; the pizza here is wonderful and makes me question if Papa John has committed some heinous act of treason. I suppose that when you’re around a crowd who practically wishes to eat the stuff for every meal, well…you get a bit tired of it.
Needless to say, the food here is the real deal. This is not your neighborhood Olive Garden that attempts to pawn off chicken parmesan as an authentic Italian dish. The eats here are honest, paying tribute to the naturally tasteful bounties that are produced using nothing but patience and a bit of science. Food is not seen as big business here, meaning that the manufacturing and processing of ingredients is virtually non-existent. Everything is fresh, really fresh; and you can taste the difference.
It should not come as a surprise that Italians, just as they live, tend to cook simply. Meals are prepared using few ingredients, intending to highlight the natural flavors that frankly cannot be harnessed using packaged, frozen, or sealed products. The pasta is prepared al dente (slightly chewy) and is typically rolled that morning. The sauces are rich, full-bodied, and taste of the local gardens. The cheese…oh my. I’m going to be humble here and accept the fact that anything I could possibly type will not sufficiently describe the cheese; only through taste can you understand it.
There is an extreme passion (understatement) for dining here. The other day, I sat down at a small café to grab lunch and noticed the server setting the tables. Everything from the napkins to the chairs was placed using extraordinary precision. After watching him obsessively shift the plates 5-6 times until reaching a point of irrefutable satisfaction, I could not help but childishly squirm around in my seat due to eagerness for my food. Just as expected, it was a symphony of flavors.
Describing anything that is perfect is an arduous task. In all honesty, I’ve read through this post dozens of times, trying to decide if I’ve done Italian food justice…likely not. What I do know is that there is something commendable about showing an intense care for anything. There is nothing complex about the food here; the Italians simply care. Perhaps we all need to reflect on a few things that we could show greater care towards and maybe, just maybe, we will discover the hidden perfections that surround us every day.
Have a wonderful week!