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When I returned from a trip to Northern Italy not long ago, one of first things that I did (after unpacking) was to try to re-create some of the awesome dishes that I had tasted in this remarkable country. I was partially successful, some food items are readily available here, but where I came up against a challenge were the pastries, the very virgin olive oil cheeses and the tomato sauces.  Some of the dishes that I prepared were almost as good (I'm thinking tonno... um, salad?).  But why, oh, why does the dish never taste the same as it did there? We have a similar climate, similar soil and the matching topography, except for the tilt down to the Adriatic Sea, instead of the Pacific Ocean.

No matter how much you may read about the foods of Italy, the reality of being there can never be matched. And I am talking about the first taste of Pecorino cheese, and then mostly purchasing Parmesan in it's place...

One of the few things that does help a bit though, is to read fiction, or mysteries that take place there, for instance any of Donna Leon's mysteries, where Guido's wife , Paola, manages to make almost all of their meals (and she works full-time at the university!)  I wouldn't necessarily recommend "Death in Venice' if you want to read about food, but there are many others, just ask a Librarian. in the meantime, Ciao!


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Posted by: Nancy R.

Nancy works at the Novato Library.

This is an official blog for the Marin County Free Library.

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great blog

Makes me want to get on a plane tomorrow and head to Italia! Maybe I'll just pick up an Italian mystery from the library instead...

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