Happy New Year
The New Year is almost upon us and in Italy people are starting to think about preparing their dinners for the 31 December. Many Italians will go out to dinner on that night, and restaurants up and down the country provide special meals, often quite costly, to celebrate with music and dancing. Whether people go out or stay at home, there is one thing which is usually on the menu: cotechino e lenticchie (a kind of pork sausage served with lentils).
An honest mistake
I was standing behind my friend the other day as he ordered some espressi at the bar. Suddenly he let out a gasp. He’d ordered all three coffees in porcelain cups but our other friend preferred his in a glass. I glanced at the cups ranged on the bar to check that they weren’t still empty, but it was too late. All three were filled with perfect Italian espresso.
Pasta in a box
In the last couple of years, particularly in Italy’s large tourist centres, a new phenomenon has appeared: fast food pasta restaurants. Typically, they serve a few types of fresh pasta which can be coupled with a sauce of your choice, served in a cardboard box Chinese take-away style. It can be eaten on or off premises and usually costs the price of a hamburger and fries.
Pasta with chicken? Mamma mia!
If you’re a fan of pages such as Italians Mad at Food, or if you google the ‘rules’ of Italian cooking, you will know that there’s only one thing worse than putting pineapple on pizza: eating pasta with chicken. That’s right. Any of you who have been cooking and eating pasta with chicken are risking the wrath of the people who brought you spaghetti and lasagne. You’d better stop it now.
Moka: easy or difficult to use?
A recent article in a British national newspaper, said that coffee made in a traditional Italian moka ‘is often hugely bitter and over-extracted rocket fuel’. It goes on to say how ‘fiendishly difficult’ the moka is to use. I was so incensed by this that I felt I had to write an article. To quote a phrase of our time, what they said is fake news.