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How to Make Pasta Like an Italian

I sat with three close Italian friends and my Italian husband as they, some quite literally, rolled with laughter. “And then, and then,” my friend Marco said, gasping for breath between laughs, “They cooked the pasta for TWENTY MINUTES!” “It’s like cooking it in a pressure cooker!” my husband agreed. “I’ve heard that they add pasta… Read more »

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The Food of Valtellina 

Winter in Northern Italy means bone-chilling humidity. The damp air seeps into our bones, making even the most virile young person feel achy, tired. Though life goes on at top speed with school and work, Christmas preparations, and twinkling lights that attempt to shine through the fog, there’s little to do to escape the heavy… Read more »

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What Italians Eat to Beat the Heat

After decades of Italo-American bastardization of southern Italian cooking, Americans view Italian food as loads of cheese smothered in tomato sauce – even better if it’s fried!  Italian food is so much more than that, but it’s true that Italian food isn’t known for being light. Even the non-fried dishes tend to be either heavy on… Read more »

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The Mixed-Cultured Food of Friuli Venezia Giulia

Friuli Venezia Giulia has a large, complicated and fascinating history. A border region between Italy, Austria and Slovenia, it’s been constantly fought over, controlled, traded. Everyone from Attila the Hun to the Nazis have passed through Friuli to gain access to the important sea ports of the Adriatic Sea. The region or parts of the… Read more »

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Aperitivo in Milan: What It Is and How to Have One

There’s no better way to soak in the atmosphere of Milan than an aperitivo. A Milanese rite of passage, an aperitivo is the surest way to adapt to the city, “do as the locals do” and enjoy a night out. The basic concept of an aperitivo (or apertif) is that of an American happy hour. The reality, however,… Read more »

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Italy’s Traditional Food For The New Year

I’m not sure how many American families actually indulge in sausage and sauerkraut on New Year’s day. Though it is a tradition in the United States (without a doubt stolen from our many German settlers) most Americans I know turn up their nose at the sour dish. I was raised watching my grandfather and father scarf… Read more »

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My Favorite Foods in Tuscany and Umbria

What’s your favorite Italian food?   Recently, Marco asked me the same question. Though it might seem simple enough, I knew that coming from him, the question wasn’t as simple as it sounded. “Food or dish?” I asked.  Dish. I thought about some of my favorites. I knew that risotto or pizza wouldn’t do. He’d want something… Read more »

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An Ode in Prose to my Umbrian Panino

Oh! To my Umbrian panino. A panino only found safely tucked away in the small, yet cosmopolitan town of Assisi. A surprise gem. A saint in our long day. In our constant quest to avoid the tourist traps, we shunned a traditional restaurant for lunch. Instead, we stopped at the take-away window of a traditional restaurant, right… Read more »

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That Time I Went to Mantova Just to Eat Lunch

Mantova, or Mantua in English, is a tiny medieval city in Lombardy, on the border with Veneto. Ruled for decades by the rich Gonzaga family, the city is a gem with a lot to offer a cultural traveler. I, however, was more of a gastronomical traveler. The plan was to head to the city early Sunday… Read more »

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On Travel and Food

Some travel to eat. They associate each country with the dish that represents it, creating gastronomic tours to find the best of their favorite food or easily adding entire meal categories between the classic breakfast, lunch, and dinner while traveling. They munch their way through a country, learning the culture one plate at a time…. Read more »