My husband and I recently returned from a vacation in Italy. I literally ate more carbohydrates in the two weeks in Italy than I have in the past year. And I’m not one bit sorry. It was fantastic. We ate pizza and or pasta every single day and washed it down with lots of red wine followed by gelato.
I took a cooking class where I learned to make homemade pasta. During the class we ate two different pasta courses with bread and cake. I’m not kidding. I would normally never do this and I almost stopped myself, but really? I’m in Rome at a cooking class and I’m going to monitor my carb intake? Nope. Not me. So I told myself to shut up and I did it.
You would think from this description that I would have had to buy a second seat on my return flight. I did not gain a single pound. I’ve covered this in prior posts so I won’t go crazy, but there is something here that is really important.
First of all, we walked everywhere in Italy. I live in Texas where the only place I walk is to my car. I have to take myself on a walk like a dog to get any exercise. It’s pitiful.
Second, we ate real food, cooked fresh that day, and ate only what was in season. Even when we were in the train station, there was no fast food; only a man and a Panini press and an espresso machine. I never saw once Sysco truck or the equivalent the whole time we were there. I did see a produce truck, lots of farms, vineyards and ladies rolling out dough and crushing tomatoes.
A couple of times I ordered something that I saw on the menu like spinach. I was told, “No spinach in season only eggplant, zucchini or red pepper.”
This happened a couple of times until I realized they keep the vegetables on the menu but people know what is in season (except Americans who are used to getting things year round).
Their grocery stores are not the behemoth eyesores we have in the states. They are small, charming and have only this: produce, meat, fish, fowl, cheese, milk, eggs, flour, sugar, wine, baguettes, pasta and a small amount of cereal and chips.” That’s it. No ridiculous frozen sections, not twenty types of cereal, not twelve varieties of bread, soda, crackers, goldfish, pop tarts etc.
Furthermore, they don’t have the guilt associated with food that us Americans have. They eat and enjoy. They talk and linger and drink. Oh yeah and they get to have the wonderful oblivion that comes with living in a country where there are no GMOs and chemicals in your food.
So cheers or cin cin to you, Italy! I’ll be back. Until then, I’ll be rolling out the ravioli at home.