So only in Italy would weight gain (mine, as noticed by our landlord) be considered a sign of food quality. When a new arrival to most other countries (New Zealand, America) packs on the pounds everyone usually agrees this shows how terrible/fatty/sugary/un-nutritious the food is.
So anyway. Since moving here I have often found myself googling food related questions (sometimes I spend too long on the Internet). These have included:
Question: why avocados are few and far between (and so expensive!). Answer: because, essentially, avocados aren’t traditionally a part of Italian cuisine. They can be found, but they’re not always delicious and they’re always expensive. We miss them a lot.
Question: why croissants taste terrible. Answer: because they’re not croissants. The Italian lookalike variation is called a cornetto and is made with oil instead of butter and has more sugar. The Internet seems to agree with me that they are not as delicious as their buttery counterparts.
Question: why all sweet bread goods (doughnuts mainly, though other brioche and fried products come into this category too) taste a little funky. Answer: to be discovered. My own conclusions range from the type of yeast used to the inclusion of artificial vanilla flavourings.
We’ve also found that, as with avocados, when a food item is not part of traditional Italian cooking, it is almost impossible to find. Example: limes and fresh coriander. I know I should applaud the (probable) lack of unseasonable imports and lower food miles but, sometimes I really want these things. Lucky we’ve found a coriander supplier – from a butchers/Asian food supplier down the road from us – but you have to ask for it. That stuff is kept behind the counter!
And why yes, I did start this post while I was cooking breakfast (pancakes!). Could you tell I was feeling hungry?