Sunday, January 12, 2014

Going for Italian

Food is very important part of our travels.  Sleep is right up there, but food is the trump card.

Each day, sitting with a cup of coffee, Jo, java, cafe au' lait, caffe latte, ein Kuppen von Koffee, or whatever else the locals are brewing, we start talking about what we want to eat and how on Earth we are going to get it.  We have hunting, gathering and foraging down to a science, particularly if waiters are involved and they take Visa or American Express.

Then, while eating, our conversation seems to drift to where our next meal will be.  We are basically a never-ending Mobius Cafeteria Line.

I love it!!!

And each country we visit has their own approach to food.

The boat was pretty simple, as they kept tables constantly full of food throughout the entire day.  When on land, we could usually be found with a glass of wine in one hand (our on-land excursions were pretty much historical sites while tasting wine) and a strudel in the other, so we didn't have much of chance to actually get hungry.

In Switzerland, unfortunately, we both had bad colds, so we spent a lot of time recuperating in our lovely hotel room overlooking Lucerne.

 View from the Hotel Balances in Lucerne.
 Our room at the Hotel Balances.
Not a bad place to recover from our flu/colds!
Swiss speciality dish Lozärner Chögalipaschtetli

(Veal dumplings bedded in a flaky pastry pie with rice and vegetables)
Swiss Skillet with their famous “Chapellbridge–Röschti”

 (Swiss hash browns, tomato, bacon, cheese, chives with an egg sunny side up)

And then, there was Italy!

Back home, at the end of the day and we both find ourselves exhausted, we often engage in a battle of wills as to who is going to approach the kitchen.  It is hunger vs. tiredness as we list who prepared what and cleaned up after in the recent past.  "I cooked last night."  "I'll see that and raise you the two prior nights, plus cleanup."

Going for Italian is a common compromise.  I wouldn't say it is the ultimate compromise, that's Chinese "You order, I'll pick up."  But if we agree on Italian, we head off to one of our favorite places and a whole garden of delectable choices opens up before us, "Caprese, carpaccio, bruschetta, linguine, spaghetti, penne pasta, pomodoro, marinara, bolognese, and lasagna"!!!!

After a couple of weeks of being in Italy and living on Italian food though, you start craving something, anything else.  It's like all they have here is Italian!  I don't know how the Italians do it.  If I lived here all the time, I could just see trying to tempt the children, "Hey kids, let's go for Italian tonight!"  Nothing but groans.  "Let's order pizza!!"  Armed rebellion.

Karen and I will be walking down the Italian streets and looking at the menus on the outside of the restaurants.  "Do they all print these menus at the same place?  All they have is caprese, carpaccio, bruschetta, linguine, spaghetti, penne pasta, pomodoro, marinara, bolognese, and lasagna."

We are craving French food… but will definitely miss the gelato!!

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