Since looking through my pictures of the week, I have decided one thing: we should talk about food… again. Really, Virginia Woolf said it best: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Brava. So, we endeavor to dine well.
Aside – I like this from Julia Child too: “Life itself is the proper binge.” Yes, ma’am.
I realize I just posted an almost manic entry about La Renella, but I am in Italy so indulge me. Italians do food right. It’s just that simple. And knowing this allows for a certain culinary freedom through trust – trust that really anything you see/order will taste good. It will. It’s just the matter of how good. This mindset fosters curiosity, encourages it even. It basically drips “accidentalism,” or my conception of the term. You can accidentally stumble into the best thing that you’ve ever eaten here. You can accidentally do that everyday. Your “best meal ever” could be a daily title, a 24hour expiration of reputation. It’s inspiring. Possibly a challenge. So, this is why I choose to point to the lunchtime pizza (because it is different from dinnertime pizza) with the strangest, most intriguing toppings. This is why I pick the things that I sometimes cannot pronounce. Faith in the Italians, that’s why.
Ok, so this is usually a fantastic approach to dinning and has already resulted in some real winners (think artichoke and eggplant pizza, assorted tapas, coconut cookie ball things, fried artichokes, etc), BUT I will allow you that sometimes it fails. Exhibit A: the pizza that looks absolutely delicious here, but had some unidentifiable fishy substance atop its leafy greens. It wasn’t bad, but just so unexpected. Fish. Could’ve sworn those were mushrooms. Oh well.
This weekend we dinned like kings (Queens, dames? Royals, for sure). We found a Spanish Tapas restuarant called TapaLoca near Piazza Navona. Reader’s notes: amazing red sangria, great atmosphere, perfect tapas sampler. Then there was the Forno Campo de Fiori that I sniffed out after seeing all the Romans on the piazza munching out of their identical brown paper bags. I asked a man, “Dove il forno?” and he just pointed to the corner of the square and kind of smiled. It was like he knew we knew we were sort of discovering a secret, on the brink of greatness. Again, notes: great zucchine panino, and I later returned for a ricotta and strawberry pastry. Last night meant dining in the Jewish Ghetto, an area of Rome now hip for its eateries and famous for artichokes. So respectfully, at Nonna Betta, fried artichokes and artichoke pasta I had. If you do it, do it right. Right?
Anyway, now you know what I’ve gastrologically stumbled upon recently. I won’t bore you with Katie and my attempts in the kitchen, although I’d like to think that Julia Child would be luke-warmly impressed. She’d probably choose not to binge on our concoctions, but so goes life.