By now you know that I am proud of having been raised in Italy, and probably also that (almost) everything I cook is inspired by Italian cuisine.
Living in the Netherlands is not always easy when it comes to wanting to make a traditional Italian dish. Where are the real and fresh ingredients? Where are the cheeses and the good bread? Holland has lovely peanut butter and stroopwafels (and much more) to offer, but to be honest, fresh ingredients for Italian dishes, such as good pasta, tomatoes and basil (among my personal top ten ingredients) are sparse. So, whenever I go to Italy, the first thing will tell my mum is “I’ll cook” and she will be immensely happy to hear that, since there is no chore in this world she hates more.
The first thing I do when I arrive is take my shoes off and walk barefoot in the garden, to find out what vegetables are ripe enough to be used and which will soon be. Then I go to the chicken and say hi to them; they give us beautiful fresh eggs and they chat they day away making funny sounds. Then I go back inside and look at what is in the cupboard, I just need a few thing from there..
In Italian cuisine the key factor is simplicity. There is need for overly complicated ingredients which you wouldn’t know where to find, no need for long recipes or intricate techniques. Otherwise there would be no time for gathering around the same table, and that’s what food is all about, right?
I have been living in the Netherlands for only approximately one and a half year now, and there is almost nothing I miss more than those moments.
Last year when I went back I made focaccia, pizza, salads and pasta. This year it was all about tomatoes, roasted vegetables and pesto. And of course, we can’t forget that there is gelato for dessert!
I am not sure what the point of this post is really, probably just stating that Italian food is amazing , and that if you have grown up with it, you will miss it when you’re away. So please bare with us when we sometime tend to criticize others trying to recreate italian dishes, we are just a tad jealous of our treasure: nature.