Hey! Long time, no see…..
I just came back from Italy (don’t you even dare think that it was a vacation – it was pure work, and nothing else but work…hmmph).
I had a two-week sojourn in the beautiful land of Napoli (Naples to non-Eyetalians)- and guess what! ALL that I got to see where a few gulls in the nearby port.
Alright…now getting down to the business of what all happened (nah…dont worry, I won’t bore you with my work details ) – I got there on the evening of Dec 8th, and man, was it chilly! Anyway, I got a taxi and reached my hotel and straight went to sleep. I had to be bright and sharp for the meetings next morning.
To digress, something I noticed while in the cab was that, none of the buildings seemed to have any colour. They were all in shades of grey with plenty of graffitti all over them. Hmm…I wonder why people are so obsessed with graffitti paintings there.
Ok getting back to my first morning in Napoli – I had breakfast at the hotel and went to the office…blah…blah..blah…Lets skip all that and come to the fun part – Food (translation – lunch). Did you know that Naples is the birthplace of the famous “Pizza Margharita”? History says that it was first created in honour of Queen Margharita (I forget which country she came from) – and was decorated with the Italian tri-colours of Red, White and Green using Tomato, Cheese and Oregano.
Anyway, that’s history – and right now, I am at the Fratelli La Bufala and have a steaming Pizza Margharita before me, I am told that the Mozzarella cheese here is made from pure buffalo milk. I could have lived without knowing that, considering that I am not exactly a cheese-afficianado. So, I start carving the pizza and took my first bite – it was really, really good. I had never ever really liked the pizzas I have had and always felt that they tasted artificial. But this was the real deal – it felt good and wholesome. And unlike the pizza base seen in India, this was more rough and chewy. Also, it was very simply made and piping hot. Unfortunately, I could not finish the whole pizza as it was as large as the ‘Large’ pizza servings in Indian restaurants – and that was considered as standard size by Italians. I could see people around me munching away and clearing their plates in a flash.
Napoli is also well-known for its huge lemons and hence, also famous for its lemon dishes. An interesting dish I saw was the Lemon Sorbet – which is lemon ice-cream served in a hollowed out lemon.
I also had my fill of the different kinds of breads used in Naples – sfogliatelle, baba – there were so many and I cant remember all the names. But these two were my favourites.
Another lovely dish I had was the Spaghetto Carbonara – this was spaghetti with bacon and eggs and it was simply divine. I’ll let you in on a secret – if you want to taste authetic Italian food in Trivandrum, go to the Pizzeria at the Kovalam beach. The Spaghetti Carbonara I had there was exactly the same as the one in Italy – in taste and the wafting scent.
Food lovers – Italy beckons .