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.
What is this?! This is weak! There is absolutely no feeling of shiokness for me but I’m getting used to it. Moreoever, the Italian breakfast is supposed to keep you full just enough till your next meal.
Which comes to the next point …
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.
Oh, and another thing is that 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 – 1030pm. Beware for those who choose to disturb an Italian during these times. You’d get an earful. And in the less touristy areas, you can forget about being served in a shop or in an office since everything is closed!
For sure, that took a lot of adjusting to. For me, I don’t have a definite time to eat. I 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 its huge! Have you seen the size of a personal pizza for example?
Back in the Singapura, this would be shared by 2 people. That’s mushroom pizza by the way. Here in Italy, I’m 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. If I’m lucky, I could push the leftovers for Cartcart to finish.
I hate leaving food leftovers. I’m so very tempted to pack a plastic bag with me. But its regarded low class
But its much more manageable for most other types of dishes though like Pasta, appetizer, desserts and others.
And while at home, Cart would usually like to divide our meals equally. And that’s usually a lot. I’d have to scrunch up my face and keep reminding him that we have different sized bodies and need different sized portions and give him the guilt trip that I’ve gained a lot of weight since my arrival in Rome. But that’s more towards married life than Italian food portions.
When back in Singapore, its easy to take for granted at how acessible 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.
This is Jerrick after eating in a trattoria in Castelli Romani
Not so much in Italy.
Apart from several kebab shops, practically almost every Italian restaurants serves non Halal foods, 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. No such thing. So normally when we eat out, I’d just have seafood or go vegetarian. For those who are still doubtful, its not difficult to buy your own meat to cook at home.
The first few months in Italy was agony for me. I craved for loads of things and above all things it was the burger. Prior I could just walk in a fast food restaurant and get one. But as said before, its not halal. So I got all emotional when I spotted out a Macdonalds or a Burger King in the vicinity. Interestingly by the way, there is no KFC in Italy which was odd because these three franchises was the fastfood triad in my opinion.
But in any case, 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.
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 do appreciate it more now.
By the way, if you’re looking for the best coffee in Singapore, I would have to say Espressoul. Forget about starbucks. I’m sorry but they are just crap coffee.
I have a very itchy mouth and I love to snack. Its somewhat therapeutic for me when watching tv, when in the office, when waiting for the bus, when in the bus … But what’s amazing 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!
I tell you, this is 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. Its 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 cant 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 … eh?
I think that’s all for now, there could possibly be more, but I cant 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