I was reading an interesting post about how living in Italy has changed this blogger’s diet. While I’ve not been living here that long, there has been quite a lot of adjustments that I had to make.
Starting with …
While I was still living in Singapore, the choice of breakfast that I preferred was filling food such as Lontong, Nasi Lemak, Epok-epok and the likes. Thus I was stunned for the longest time when I had to make do with food like cereal and a couple of toasts with jam and juice for breakfast. And that’s pretty much it.
While the typical Italian breakfast is quite simple and is supposed to keep you just full enough to tide over to your next meal.
For lunch and dinner, Italians have this set of dishes called the primo piatto, secondo piatto, and the contorno. Which simplified means, after they’ve eaten their appetizer, they eat a pasta dish, then a meat dish, and then a vegetable dish. The was quite odd for me, since we Asians lay every dish on the table to be eaten together.
Italians are very particular about food times and would drop everything that they do for their meals. Lunch is always from 12.30 – 3.30 and dinner is always at 8.30 – 1030 pm. In the less touristy areas, you can forget about being served in a shop or in an office since everything will be closed.
That took a lot of adjusting to as I didn’t have a definite time to eat. I’ll just eat when I’m hungry.
While my American counterparts would think that their food portion is smaller in Italy, personally for me I think it’s huge! Have you seen the size of a personal pizza for example?
Back in Singapore, a pizza this size would be shared by 2 people. While here in Italy, I’d be struggling just to try to finish one and I’d look in amazement at Italian kids smaller than me who are able to finish one by themselves.
When back in Singapore, it was easy to take for granted at how accessible eating was for me. You could walk practically anywhere, and a huge chance that there will be at least one Halal eatery in front of you.
Not so much in Italy.
Apart from several kebab shops, practically almost every Italian restaurants serves non Halal foods so we have to be very careful in what we order and be very vigilant in asking what every single ingredient in the food had. Forget about halal certification here. So normally when we eat out, I’d just have seafood or go vegetarian. For those who are still doubtful, it’s not difficult to buy your own meat to cook at home.
The first few months in Italy was agony for me. I craved for a lot of comfort food like burgers and I got all emotional when I spotted out a McDonald or a Burger King in the vicinity but they were unfortunately not Halal.
After several months, I learnt about the location of halal butcheries where I could buy my chicken and beef among others to make my own food. Like Pollo alla Cacciatora and Polpette Al Sugo which are divine by the way.
And the irony is, when Cart and I was on our way back to Singapore, I ordered a burger and instantly felt repulsed. Maybe my taste buds has changed since it detected the processed meat taste.
Prior to coming to Italy, I’m not so into coffee mainly because I keep getting bouts of migraines when I drank those instant coffee that my dad buys.
Hence, I was a little apprehensive when Cart offered me some freshly brewed moka. But since it was just a tiny little cup, I gave it a try. Some hours later and still no dizziness, made me more confident enough to try other types of coffee like Marocchino, Macchiato, Cappuccino, Espresso and others.
I’m still not that big with coffee though. But I can appreciate it more now.
I love to snack. Its somewhat therapeutic for me when watching TV, when in the office, when waiting for the bus, or when in the bus. The amazing thing though, is that I’ve never seen any of my Italian friends snack in between meals. Ever!
But I still like to munch on stuff anyway every now and then. And while I don’t have my vegetable keropok, now I’m crazy about patatine!
This was the happiest day of my life, the day when I got this giant pack of potato chips in Bomarzo.
This for that
Of course, the biggest change I suppose is that instead of rice being my staple diet, it is now pasta. I love eating pasta be it the egg pasta or the wheat ones. And being married to an Italian, has made me more competent in the sensitivities of cooking Italian pasta.
But sometimes there are days when I get tired of eating pasta and cook some rice and ayam masak merah or daging masak kicap. It’s my comfort food and it reminds me of home.
Apart from pasta, I got to experience different vegetables that I’ve never encountered before in while in Singapore like Radicchio, Carciofi and cool looking Cauliflowers.
And last but not least is cheese. While there are some types of cheeses that I really can’t stand, like Gorgonzola and will absolutely not kiss Cart after he consumes it. But there are some cheeses which I found out that I like, like Maarsdammer, Mozarella and stracchino.
By the way stracchino is a slang for tired and the cheese is said to be made from the milk of tired cows.
I think that’s all for now, there could possibly be more, but I can’t think of any at the moment so maybe I’ll update again later. For now, Cart made some Lenticchie for dinner and I’m going to give it a try