One of the upsides of living here with an Italian family is the abundance of fresh food and delicious delicacies that are on offer to me 24 hours a day.
The downside is my complete inability to resist any of it.
Every morning I am welcomed into the kitchen by a huge tub of Nutella, biscuit jars full to bursting, little mini toasts and jam, cornettos (croissants) filled with Nutella and dusted with icing sugar, plums, oranges, cherries and apples, (if I'm honest the fruit is usually ignored in favour of sweeter treats), cereal con cioccolata, fresh bread, proscuitto, and anything else that's been picked up from the local bakery.
Before I moved to Rome I dismissed the image of Italians as pizza-and-pasta-eating-only foreigners as a lazy stereotype. Well, I have since discovered that I couldn't have been more wrong. I don't think a day has gone by that I haven't eaten one or the other in the 2 months that I've been here. As an American girl from my language school lamented to me the other day - 'I'm just not used to it!'. I completely agreed with her at the time but if I'm honest this style of living is pure heaven for me, having arrived from a tiny shared kitchen in London where it was a treat if I could manage to cobble together any kind of meal that resembled something nutritionally balanced.
Italians are also much more refined in their eating habits than the English. Where we are inclined to pile something of everything onto our plates, to an Italian the idea of doing so is enough to put them completely off their food, hence the importance of the primo piatta and secondo piatta followed by (the most important in my opinion) la dolce. Italians also rarely snack and stick to strict meal times, which must be how they manage to eat bread, bread and more bread, and still look like they could do with a good fattening up.
Thus, while I am here - despite the consequences that will no doubt come from possessing an extremely English metabolism - I intend to simply do as the Romans do and live la dolce vita (with the operative word being dolce).
|Just to give you an idea of the treats I'm struggling to resist at my local panetteria|