When you hear living like an Italian do you think of spaghetti and meatballs? Spray tans, spiky hair, and a gold chain (GTL anyone?!)? Simplistic fashion icons? Homemade wine perhaps?
Yeah Buddy! T-Shirt Tiiiiime!
Well, growing up in a VERY Italian town, and being raised in an Italian American household, I see things a bit differently than the stereotypical Italiana.
I was watching No Reservations and Anthony Bourdain makes some serious points in the Naples Episode that many people shoud take notice of.
It dawned on me that real Italians (people who actually LIVE in Italy) have a lifestyle that reflects their surroundings. They cook with only fresh ingredients, caught or picked within their own neighborhood. They don’t use imported cheese. They use the cheese from their Uncle Luigi’s sheep. They don’t buy chilean sea bass. They use the mussels caught from the beach across the street. Italians are very resourceful this way. It’s really a beautiful and uncomplicated way of life (and a way of eating). This episode was my favorite one yet.
owns a restaurant in NYC and he calls it “Italian”. Some patrons have been put off because there was not any chicken parm on the menu. This man used what was local and at its peak of freshness and put it on the menu for the day. The mentality is Italian. It is more Italian than all of the Italian restaurants we know in the USA. The concept is brilliant. It captures the essence of Italy. This concept (even if you aren’t Italian) is kind of like modern art. It may not look like the DaVinci painting that we have forever known (or labeled) as art. We must look closer into it to appreciate its depth, its soul.
It is my philospohy in the kitchen and where most of my best recipe ideas come from. Use what you have on hand. I’ve always said necessity breeds creativity. If you need juice from 5 limes for your Key Lime Pie but only have enough juice to fill a shot glass, try using those limes, a lemon, an orange, and some coconut extract for fun! (See that action in real life here).
If you need a flower vase and don’t have one, chop down your stems and pop the flowers into short drinking glasses. I talk it out here.
Do you live like an Italian?