Monday, October 15, 2012

Eating (and Drinking) My Way Through Italy

On our recent trip to Rome, the Amalfi Coast, and the Isle of Capri, The Hubby and I ate ourselves silly. (We also hiked and walked a lot, so we could justify all the eating.) Eating well in Italy is ridiculously easy to do. Fresh, enticing, food is literally right on the street in front of you:

(Roasted chestnut vendor, Rome.)

 (These are the lemons used to make the local liqueur called Limoncello. Yum.)

(Harvesting olives for their  family's own supply of olive oil, Isle of Capri.)

The countless bakeries and cafes we passed offered such temptations:

 (Breads baked in the shape of the Colosseum, Romulus & Remus statue, and the Arch of Constantine, Rome.)


The sidewalk cafes were so attractive. They made you want to sit down and order something while watching the world pass by:

I had caffeine and A Little Something every single afternoon. The Hubby gamely joined in (although I was far more enthusiastic about all this than he was):

Of course, we had quite a few sit-down meals. The salads were terrific. Super-fresh greens, tomatoes bursting with flavor, fabulous grilled veggies, and melt-in-your-mouth buffalo mozzarella: 


 Risottos, plain and fancy, made me moan. Italy does risotto like nobody's business:

We also enjoyed outstanding appetizers. This plate (below) had tiny, crispy, sweet mini green peppers and the best French Fries I've ever eaten. Not to mention several fantastic cheeses, and...oh, I give up. It was the stuff you dream about for weeks after.

 (Everything on this plate was made within a few miles of where we sat to eat. Superb.)

(Fried bits of fresh mozzarella  tiny balls of batter infused with shredded seaweed, and the most delectable mini strips of zucchini I've ever eaten. Ohhh, my.)

(Bruschetta, fresh local mozzarella, fresh local ricotta, and a drizzle of intense, syrupy balsamic reduction. Yowza.)

(Crispy, cheese-coated anchovies, served on an ornamental bed of fried spaghetti and broccoli rabe. Wow!)

And the pastas and pizzas. Bellisimo! I say no more, for fear I'll cry.

(Pardon the flash, but it was night. I had to capture this pasta dish, which was served in a Parmesan cheese tuile.)

(Salmon, gorgonzola, and arugula pizza blew my mind.)

(Swordfish pizza. I broke my "No-Overfished Predator Fish" rule to have this. It was seriously beyond delicious.)

(The Hubby and I don't like eggplant. At least, we didn't until we ate it in Italy. Done right, it's delish!)

Aaaand, of course I had dessert. Sometimes I had it for breakfast!

 (Creme caramel for breakfast? Sure, why not?)

 (My first-ever cannoli. Heaven on Earth. What was I waiting for??)

 (Heavenly gelato everywhere you go.)

And the booze: We drank fantastic Italian wine every night:

Some of the varieties we enjoyed were made in small batches made by the locals on the hillsides right where we ate. Memorable!


At the end of everything, there were digestifs, including the famous local one, 

 Limoncello, served in frosty-cold tiny glasses, at the end of the meal. Wowzers.

It will take me months to recover from the wonderfulness of all we ate.

Totally worth it.



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