I’m now cursed.
Since I’ve been back to the US, food seems so…bland, processed, not special or succulent at all. Italy has been a piece of Heaven, and now, since I had spent a great amount of time in food Nirvana, where one can bliss with homemade delights made with the freshest ingredients, our stuff now tastes like crap. It’s very depressing.
My co-worker John shakes his head and smiles back, and says: “I told you this would happen.” (He’s been to Italy, and knows the whole letdown; according to him, it’ll take a whole month to get over it…)
Okay then. Still, I’m haunted. I have a few blogs to go, and the feelings are still memorable, even visceral. However, there are at least three places in Italy I can’t recall for the life of me…
(Why mention this now? Because sometimes in the middle of a journey, when one begins to piece things together coherently, so to remember these special things in the Autumn years of life, the places and faces do become quite muddled, like the ingredients of a tropical cocktail. Or a Negroni….)
Anyway, even though I can’t remember the places, I sort of recall the dishes:
- Venice: On the second night, the WTT ladies had our first group dinner outside by the Grand Canal. As I watched the boats float by, I ate some sweet-fleshed white fish (from the bream family) with vinegar sauce, artichokes and tomatoes. So fresh, the flesh was beautifully solid. Dolci = dessert course: Tiramisu. Gorgeous chocolate bits and cocoa throughout the cream. It made me cry. During dinner, DeAnn told me tales of traveling to South Africa. Her tales made me want to go there. Lovely night…even when I can’t remember where exactly. (It was 5 steps from our hotel; what was it?)
- Florence: The last night was so much fun with the gang. After dinner, we headed to Palazzo Vecchio and listened to guitar music as the night gathered in, and I petted the nose of the Porcellino for good luck. At dinner, however, I couldn’t even remember the name of the place in Old Town we were at (it had “Green” in the English version of the restaurant’s name, and 20+ vendors came by to try to sell us roses, which was ridiculous), but the food, oh the food….I had ravioli filled with mashed potatoes. The sauce was wild boar ragu. If I would had died on that night, I would had been satisfied. If you haven’t tried wild boar, please do!
- Sorrento: This is a place of such exquisite beauty. We all needed an extra day to just enjoy the atmosphere here. And, at a seaside restaurant I clearly forgot (was there “Blanc” somewhere in the name?), I had another bream fish plate (still, the flesh was so sweet), this time with olives.
I will say, on these particular nights, we had so much fun. 🙂