Thursday, January 20

Italian Food: Worth licking your plate over

Over the holidays, when they bring onto the front burner those desultory articles of seemingly low import, some major bombshells were dropped about Italians and their eating habits.  As a 'sloppy seconds' American, these came on like tsunamis in my world view.

We know that Italians conquered the food world, right about the same time that poor man's polenta became so chic, it was priced at about $5 per sliver.  Baloney, or Bologna's melt-in-your-mouth mortadella was something you only dreamed of finding on your plate at Happy Hours.  Then, they did it again when they won over the American FDA in the 80s, and were allowed to ship over their prosciutto by the ton.  Competing ferociously for the American dollar, Italian wines -- and my favorite, prosecco, still carry the day, if not the entire evening as well.

In the 90s, we were treated to the Slow Food Movement.  Italy's singular response by a great visionary to the encroachment of McDonald's on its shores.  And in 2010, Eataly took New York by a storm.  So, what could they ever do for an encore?  Ancora! (More!) that's what.

Incredibly, Italians, by their own admission, have reignited yet another passion (for all us food lovers with peasant hearts):  La Scarpetta.  My favorite way to eat food.  I'm not even sure of the etymology here, but, it translates to...ripping off that sumptious corner of delectable bread, and scraping your plate with it until you've soaked up the very last drop.  Let's just say that in finer households, this is say, frowned upon.  But it would seem of late...that people are getting caught - shall we say, red wine-handed??  Food has never tasted more delizioso.
                               You can take the kid out of America... but can't take the American outta the kid, especially if brownie batter is involved
But then, no sooner had you scraped that last bit of walnut cream sauce off your plate than it happened. First one table, then another, at your favorite ristorante.  Not just ugly Americans were actually - ohdiomio - asking to bring home their leftovers.  People in the know say Italians leave behind upwards of 30% of their meal -- and now, and especially with the prices at record levels, and perhaps the lack of time to prepare good food like mamma used to make, a taboo has been wrapped up just like your Penne all'arrabbiata to be reheated next day.  Incredibly, these morsels of goodness go even in 'doggy-bags', in English.  Could eating with your fingers be far behind?

I had a boyfriend break up with me after I ordered a pizza to go - in a pizza box (it was half the pie, hardly just one slice).
Do you think there's anything wrong with bringing home the bacon?


Dave514 said...

Now this is typically Italian. I went and looked up the derivation of, the full expression, "Fare la scarpetta," and guess what Italians were arguing as to what part of Italy this expression started. Some said the NE, some strictly Turino, others Milano still others Roma.

I really had to laugh.


PS Remember you have to give me feedback to my challenge.

Tour Italy Now said...

I agree with you that Italian food are superb! Indeed it's worth licking your plate over. lol!

My friends who are planning for their own Italy tours are expecting forward to enjoy their own Italian meal.