Friday, July 14, 2006

...I could eat a horse. I did!

No wait, I'm stupid, I didn't.

[DISCLAIMER: Although I thought I ate horse yesterday, I, in fact, didn't. For all your reference, thanks to my anonymous italian poster, bresaola is beef. boo, I've been deceived.]

Yesterday I ate horse. Bresaola, kind of like prosciutto (which is ham like, but so much leaner and more exotic), but, well, horse. I came home not to the daily question from an exhausted Dorota: What are we having for dinner? (because today I went to a war photo exhibit at the PAC, thoughtprovoking and well appropriate with the outbreak of war in Lebanon), but instead I came home to pasta bolognese (or what we call at home pasta with meat sauce) with prosciutto, bresaola and melone. In Italy there is only one type of melon really, cantaloupe, but they call it melon.

Anyways, Italy has been a culinary adventure and there are moments that I savour and remember: the brioche in Celle Ligure, hot from the oven, sweet and soft like a cloud, the risotto at Trattoria alla Madonna in Venezia, the capuccino, rich with foam at Caffe Florian also in Venezia, the pasta with rich tomato sauce I had when meeting an architect friend of my father's, the golden kiwis that came in promotion with prosciutto from GS, and the powerful mojito (yea, i know not italian, but its imbedded in my memory) I had at tijuana one of the many night I've been there.

There have been staples to my diet here in Italy. First and foremost is pasta, it's easy, it's healthy, you can change the sauces, you can change the type. Perfetto. Then there is the mighty and ubiquitous tomato, also coming in many varieties and morphing its cut or cooked form from salad to pasta to bruschetta to caprese. Beautiful cheese comes next with the mighty parmeggiano, unlike any I have ever tasted (you can bet I am declaring this at customs). Olive oil is the staple for cooking. Dorota has a bottle of the quality liquid in the kitchen, this one not for cooking but for more appropriate moments. Rucola (called Rocket in North America) can be bought in bags like lettuce at my beloved GS and packs a punch whether it be in a salad or with carpaccio. Which brings me to meat... they sell it all: horse (of which I saw a horrendously large tongue at the supermarket), rabbit, chicken, pig... all parts, all cuts.

Sometimes at home, we get sick of pasta, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, carpaccio, melon and just opt for stir fry or order out chinese. Regardless it truly is wonderful to see fine quality food around, in the supermarket, on your plate. Knowing that the carpaccio I am eating is paper thin with spicy cheese and meat makes my stomach happy. I've noticed that I also feel healthier and more in shape thanks to the change in diet. I have no idea how I will ever go back...

Sorry for the crazy post, but I am being moved around the office today without much time to really sit and compose and reflect. So deal with it folks.


Anonymous said...

Stefan, Bresaola is not horse but beef...

In Italy we eat also horse meat but we do not have horse prosciutto... :-)

Stefan said...

argh, geezus. here i thought i was being a travelling foreigner. boh, we make mistakes.

i'll write a little warning. man, i'm tired.

ieva said...

I love reading your posts - they put into words things that I'm too written out to write about. And in much better prose than I could ever write.
And pasta - a wonderful staple food. Altough I have a feeling that my post-midnight dinner concoctions with stuff that I just find laying around aren't quite what you're talking about ; )
About eating horse meat: it doesn't taste that good. Well at least not in burger form. And melon and prosciutto is so good (but also so expensive!).

naila=) said...

i can't believe you thought you ate a horse stefan!

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