I am inviting you to spend a day with me in Veneto and getting to know the region in Italy I am staying in for the following 10 months.
In my opinion food and beverages are an important part of any culture, but especially of the Italian one. Italians spent a lot of time in their favourite bar, pasticceria or restaurant talking to friends and celebrating their food a lot more than I am used to it from Germany.
So let’s discover Italy together and enjoy for one day la cucina italiana!
The day begins in a pasticceria. It is a kind of a bakery in which pastries and coffee are being sold. The typical “colazione” ( engl. Breakfast) to order would be a brioche (similar to croissants, but softer and usually filled with jam or some cream) and a Cappuccino.
(How to order in Italian: ‘’Posso avere una brioche e un cappucchino, per favore?”- Can I have…and…please?)
My recommendations for the filling would be a brioche ‘’con crema’’ (vanilla cream) or ‘’con pistacchio’’. The morning in Italy is the only time at which you are supposed to eat and drink brioche and Cappuccino. I also like to drink this warm beverage in the afternoon, but you have to be prepared for the strange looks the barista may shoot at you for ordering a cappuccino at this time of the day.
Generally, are there many strict and unwritten rules for when you can eat and drink something in Italy that I am going to uncover for you in this article.
After a few hours it would be time for “il pranzo” (engl. Lunch). A famous dish you eat in Veneto is called “Risi e bisi” (engl. Rise and peas). It is really uncomplicated to make and everyone will be able to cook it. It mainly consists of peas and risotto rice and other ingredients you will probably have at home already. In case you want to try it yourself in the following there is a link to a good recipe:
Later that day after you digested the good lunch it will be “pomeriggio” (engl. Afternoon) and time for the “merenda” which is basically another reason to sit down with friends and loved ones for a tea or a coffee and some sweet treats. You could either go again into a pasticceria to eat one of the amazing pastries they have there or you could do your merenda at home, maybe with some biscuits (my recommendation for Italian biscuits are the Galettis by Mulino Bianco). If you decide to drink a coffee in the afternoon you have to pay attention when ordering. In Italy people usually solely drink “café” which is basically espresso, but if you are used to filter coffee you have to ask for a “café Americano”.
And only a little after your afternoon snack there is already another chance to gather for your “aperitivo”. This usually consist of an alcoholic drink and some salty snacks. Since we are currently together in Veneto a must is to take an Aperol Spritz as an aperitivo, because this famous and popular drink has its roots in this very region.
To make a Spritz by yourself you solely need Aperol, prosecco, sparkling water, ice cubes and a slice of orange. In the following put some ice in a glass and pour over it 3 parts of prosecco, 2 parts of Aperol and a splash of the water. After you have garnished it with the orange it is ready to enjoy.
Finally, the day comes to an end and after you little appetizer it is time for the Italian “cena” (engl.: dinner). Of course what could represent the Italian kitchen better than pizza or pasta? In case you prefer Pizza I recommend going into a restaurant because I made the experience that the Pizza you make by yourself is never as good as the real Italian pizza made by a professional. My favourite pizza is the one with grilled vegetables (egg plants, zucchini, pepper), usually named “Pizza vegetariana”. In case you like vegetables it is definetly worth a try. If you decide to cook at home there is a pasta recipe that I would like to share with you. It is “Tagliatelle con funghi porcini”, which is a type of pasta with dried mushrooms called “porcini” that are often being used in the Italian kitchen.
After a big meal a perfect day would end for me with a café (espresso) and an evening of playing cards and boardgames with friends and family.
I am hoping that you enjoyed to explore the Italian traditions and customs around food and maybe you will try one of the recipes even yourself!