CityGirl Guide……Secrets from an Italian Kitchen
“Eat to Live do not Live to Eat”
After the lunch I have eaten for Easter it is safe to say that the above quote really is not appropriate in any Italian kitchen.
Not only do the churches awaken all sorts of visual richness during Easter here, with processions lasting long into the night in preparation for the big day, but the Easter Lunch , celebrated over the course of a few hours with more than a few people, courses and wines, is a sensory explosion enough to satisfy your soul forever more.
When I compare my CityGirl diet in recent years, composing of: processed, foreign and mainly imported , out of season food, to what I am eating here nowadays, I wonder how I ever survived!
So today I am going to share some of the secrets I have picked up after 8 months lingering in an Italian Kitchen, accompanied by the images from a typical Southern Italian Easter Lunch,cooked by my lovely Man’s Mama yesterday.
CityGirl Secrets from an Italian kitchen:
1.Use simple ingredients. The more complex the less tasty, never cover a dish with more than 3 prime ingredients.
2.Eat seasonally and locally; you will rediscover your taste buds!Consider how far your food has travelled, the less of a voyage the more energy and taste it will contain.
3. Pasta is a starter never the main attraction. Now you know why Italians can eat so much pasta and remain slimmer than us . Keep it small.
4.Make meat an accompaniment to your vegetable dishes, not a main course.
5. Eat your main meal at lunch- time even if you work in the City. Digestion is much greater between 12-2pm so give it a try if you possibly can. It will curb the afternoon snacking too.
6.Eat slowly and never alone. Ok as a CityGirl you will have to eat alone sometimes, not everyone can fit around your crazy schedule after all , but if you do, at least aim to connect with your food and enjoy it by eating more slowly.
7.Drink wine, make it red and try it cold! Red wine is much more of a digestive aid than any of the other colours plus Italians refrigerate it (keeping it fresher for longer) and drink it cold in the summer, it’s simply divine!
8.Deep-fry your veggies. Who would have thought this was allowed? Well it’s probably not but it is such a treat! Deep fried courgettes, artichokes and peppers. Easy vegetarianism!
9.Finish with fruit. It’s sweet, it’s delicious and when in season is better than cakes!
10.Dessert before coffee and only on Sundays. I always liked to have my cake with coffee but in using this little secret I find I am able to digest a lot quicker!Perhaps because the Espresso (black) becomes your digestif, curbing the post cake and dinner fullness!
Nona (Grandmother) still doesn’t think I eat enough pasta or do enough housework in my own home to be a true Italian woman yet, but I am getting there.
After years of challenge, and mis-information about food and diet, it is a pure delight to be in a country where each meal is simply celebrated , cooked and enjoyed with pleasure, as if it may be your last.
Perhaps this is Italy’s greatest secret of all……..?
“Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.” Marcus Aurelius
Buona Pasqua everyone. Get in touch and let me know how yours was, today we are starting all over again!