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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

You are What You Eat- A Meme

The Top 10 Foodstuffs I Cannot Live Without

Alan tagged me for this Meme and I have to say I have been thinking quite a bit about food lately since I've decided to put myself on a low-carb diet. The South Beach Diet is a no-carb for 2 weeks, shock your body diet but I had to modify it since I missed fruits and vegetables too much. Surprisingly I am doing fine without pasta, rice and potatoes.

Love it even though I have high blood pressure. Just a tiny sprinkling/dash will do. (Alan I'm still hoarding the special Hawaiian salt you sent me.) Can you say salt crusted red snapper without drooling?

Freshly cracked on meats and with a squeeze of fresh lemon is simplicity at its best.

When it's cold outside I have to have my Twinnings English or Irish Breakfast tea with a dash of honey or a nice cookie/biscuit. It makes my morning and afternoon and evening.

There is no way I can cook without garlic, onions, chili, thyme, rosemary, cilantro and I think it's safe for me to say that I can't eat well without them either.

This cured meat is like bacon but not smoked. In the kitchen it is an invaluable to add richness and flavor to soups and stews. I saute a few cubes of pancetta (from the belly area of the pig) and guanciale (sweeter and from the cheek/jaw area of the pig) before make bean soups. The aroma they impart is simply delectable and cooks up much faster than a ham hock.

If I did not have a run of high cholesterol in my family I could eat clams, mussels, crab, lobster, prawns, scampi, crayfish, mantis shrimp, until the cows come home or until my wallet comes up empty.

2% to be exact. I need it in my tea and coffee. No if's and or but's. Everyone in Italy drinks "cafe' normale" which is an espresso shot and after 10 months I still can't handle it.

I am stealing this from Alan. Even when I was a kid I loved cheese. My dad really liked blue cheese when I was growing up and I learned to like cheddar by tasting it at a neighbors house. Then when I moved to the U.S. I began to really experiment. My sisters will attest to the time I opened up a batch of Limburger in the car and they all demanded I throw it out before I even left the grocery store parking lot.

Part of me think I would just die and wither if I could not have a salad. The pungent greens that are common here are simply delicious, arugula, chicory, radicchio, and lamb's lettuce or mache are very popular here. Give me some vinaigrette and a giant fork and stand back.

I cannot go a day without a bit of fruit and it really does not matter what they are. It's winter now in Italy, cold and frigid especially in Torino. I find myself eating a ton of mandarin oranges, pineapple (though from Chile), lychees (from Madagascar) and persimmons (local and in season).

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At 1:47 PM, Anonymous alan said...

I started salivating while reading this, like one of Pavlov's silly dogs. Excellent choices from start to finish.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Can't sit still.... said...

I think I would die without fruit. In fact, I don't know what I'm going to do back here in the US...I was buying 2-3 kilos of fruit every week at the local street market! yummmmmmmm


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