Italy, day 10

This was the day of challenging food experiences. Challenging with respect to: how to eat it and with respect to quantity. Right now, right after dinner, I feel as if I will never eat again anymore. (its a good thing I know tomorrow morning this isn’t true anymore)

Anyway, for lunch I though I’d buy myself a nice panino from one of the shops here that have all these great hams and salamis hanging around. I came into a shop, and the guy in the shop immediately asked me: fame? si, I said enthusiastically (probably this was my mistake, i should probably have said, a little or so). And then he started listing in very rapid italian what I could have on my panino. Luckily I had already made my decision, this was going to be salami. He cut me very generous slices of salami and put them on a very generous piece of panino (is panino not a kind of diminutive in Italian???), and asked whether I’d like some cheese too. This I did, so I got some very generous slices of pecorino on the bread as well.

Back in the hotel i was really hungry and happy to have my bread.The salami and cheese were really great, and in fact so was the bread, but it had a crust that would be impossible to eat with anyone with less stroner teeth than I do. I even worried about my teeth(and they are really strong). This was a little bit too much crust for me. And as it turns out, too much bread as well. But never mind, dinner is late here, so i had a second serving of the bread around 4 pm.

Then dinner. For dinner, I went to a restaurant recommended by my good friend, namely la Torre, which is, indeed very close to the tower. The first challenge was that the owner immediately started talking Italian to me and listing the options for the primi (that is, after I succesfully ordered water and wine). In other words: I did not get a paper menu. Ok, I can deal with that. Gnocchi al pomodore. I did not have gnocchi all these days, so that seemed a good choice (although they also offered pici. hm hm nice). The gnocchi came within two minutes (wow that was quick), and they were nice. That is, the tomato sauce was very good (probably got quite some butter in it), the gnocchi had a very nice consistency, but were, to my taste, a little too potatoee, but, again, that’s my taste, this might actually be how they ought to be. anyway, half way through my gnocchi the owner asked me if i wanted carne: again listing in Italian. He mentioned anatra, now that sounded familiar, but what was it again, ah duck he said. very good!. ok i thought, why not have duck.

I did but not immediately want it and tried to explain and he understood. So, after I was done with my gnocchi, one of the cooks came to my table and took the plate and asked again whether i wanted meat. So I said yes, the duck please. Vegetables? Asparagus? Oh yes please! And I kid you not, in less than a minute i was brought a plate with what seemed like half a duck, and half a minute later the asparagus came.

The duck was, again, a challenge. It must have been cooked for ages, and just waiting in its fat for someone to order it, which was me. It was stone hard, i could not exactly recognize which part it was, I figure a wing and a breast. The skin was beyond crusty, and had some resemblance in consistency with a bread I had this afternoon. And it was salty. So, I am sorry to say, but it was not very good at all. It was edible, yes. and tasty in a sense. but not very good. And moreover, it came way too quickly after the gnocchi, I had really hoped for a little break, but no, the show went on immediately. Can these people really eat like that themselves?? (side remark, they probably do, there was a group of big man sitting at a table next to me devouring huge amounts of ossobuco and potatoes in no time). But, on the good side: the asparagus, well done, with great olive oil a little salt and a few drops of lemon juice. perfect. So next time, when I remember it, I’ll eat a pasta and then just vegetables.

I hope I will remember it. To sum up: really kind people, but please order less, or share, of come when you are really really hungry.

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