Italian Grocery Shopping
Why am I bothering to look for Italian produce in Seattle? Having an Italian husband and wanting to provide some good home cooked meals are giant parts of it. He loves snacking on fresh fennel and would love to eat Italian everyday. I have a wide repertoire of pasta dishes memorized but not living in Italy makes it hard for my menu to try new dishes. I guess I better stay surfing the net. I want to surprise him with Italian dishes so he won't miss home as much.
I look far and wide for Italian ingredients. Porcini can be found here in the summer, I found Italian runner beans , fresh zucchini (and flowers) and many more fresh fruits and vegetables that I can use to make great dishes. I decided to rent a garden plot in order to grow as many types of Italian vegetables as possible. I've ordered black kale, wild lettuces, wild chicory, wild arugula and fennel. (I bought 6 heads of fennel the other day @ 2.99/lb and it cost me $11.00.) Yikes! That's 6 dollars a kilo. I can usually find it for them for about 1 Euro a kilo. There will be many things I miss about Italy (they happen to be mostly food items.) and there any many things I missed about the U.S. and am glad to have available to me again. (They also happen to be food items.)
From Italy I will miss: (These are both short lists. There are so many more.)
winter artichokes from Sardinia
pencil thin asparagus
wild salad greens
abundant porcini (when in season)
the best pizza in the world
al dente pasta
testun al Barolo
From the U.S I am glad to have available again:
beets (not precooked)
white peaches and nectarines
Cantonese roast duck
BBQ roast pork
Being back in the States seems surreal right now. I have not fully adjusted yet and am not sure how long it will take for me it to really sink in.
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