There is one word that is worldwide known, and that is a kind of motto for the Italian expats and it's MANGIA.
MANGIA (Eat) is Italian Mothers' and Grandmothers' favorite word.
That you are eating like a little bird, or like a hoover, it doesn't matter. When you sit at an Italian table, you will hear this word at least one time (if you're lucky).
Many think it's just because our mothers love us, or because they always see us like a child in need to grow up, or because of our sense of hospitality.
In Italy August 10th is a special night; it’s the night we spend looking at the dark sky, praying to see a shooting star, or maybe more, because every star is a dream that come true.
Yes, it’ s magic, romantic, unforgettable night. People reunite on the beach or up on the hills, with just a blanket and maybe a guitar, wherever it is dark enough not to lose neither a star.
Even if science states these are just asteroids belonging to the Perseo constellation, for us these are the stars that remind us of the San Lorenzo martyrdom; they are the tears he cried and that fall from the sky on his death’s anniversary to give us hope. We believe in fact that the dreams of those who remember the Saint and see a shooting star will come true during the year.
So if you’re in Italy during this night, don’t miss it.
If you really want to feel like an Italian, find a dark place, take your blanket and turn your eyes skyward; and as you see a shooting star make your wish and say “Stella, mia bella stella, desidero che…” – Star, my beautiful star, I desire that…”
Obviously it has to remain secret…and your dreams will come true.
I wish you all a wonderful San Lorenzo night, that it brings you all you desire!
There are some mysterious transformations that happen when Italians expatriate.
Maybe some of you already got what I'm taking about, by looking at this picture, that is the most famous example.
It's a PEPPERONI PIZZA right? Yes.
NOOOOOO!!! It's my Italian blood screaming now. You can't imagine how much confusion this pizza creates in our poor brains. Why?
Because when an Italian reads on the menu Pepperoni Pizza he/she thinks "Ok, this is pizza, so, it's an Italian dish and the name sounds Italian. They meant PEPERONI and just wrote it wrong." So he will take a Pepperoni pizza thinking he will get a VEGETARIAN ONE.
And what happens? That he receives a pizza with SPICY SALAME (Yes it's SALAME)
Are you sure every time you go to an Italian restaurant you are gonna eating Italian? My last post should have demonstrate you it's not always so.
There are thousand of Italians who emigrated abroad in the last century and many of those who own a restaurant today are not 1° generation Italian. This doesn't mean you can't have a great meal but that probably what you will eat won't be 100% Italian.
No, you can't enter and ask, "Sorry where were you born? And your parents?"
But there is something you can do if you're looking for better chance to meet real Italian recipes.
READ THE MENU that's outside the restaurant.
Many times I tried to convince my American friends that here in Italy it's impossibile to eat the Fettuccine Alfredo. No way. Alfredo was so good in spreading his dish that now nothing can convince the Italian food lovers that here we don't have it.
But, cross on my heart, it's true. Unless you go to Alfredo's Restaurant. So, which is the truth?
This is one of the symbols of Rome that you can't miss when visiting.
La Bocca della Verità (the Mouth of Truth) is an image of stone, of a man-like face, located by the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome and it portrays one of several pagan gods, probably Oceanus.
What many probably don't know is that at the ancient roman time, it was a drain cover.
During the Middle Ages a new legend was created; Virgilio Grammatico, a wizard, would have build it to uncover husbands and wifes' adultery; once introducing an hand in the mouth, it would have been bitten off if the person was an adulterer.
When you say Pasta, what's the first imagine that come to your mind?
Probably it's the PASTA ALLA CARBONARA! SPAGHETTI ALLA CARBONARA!
There are many theories about the origins of the "Pasta alla Carbonara" and Italians love to think it's a typical dish from the Lazio region, created by the "carbonari" ( workers preparing and selling the "carbone"-charcoal) who needed to eat something able to give them enough strengh to work.
But it's much more probably that Italians should thank the AMERICAN TROUPS occupying Naples in 1944 and who, trying to add something to the poor plate of pasta received, added the bacon, the egg powder and the Milk cream to the Spaghetti. Naples' people tasted it deciding it could have become a great dish and found the way to make it more tasty.
From the 1945 the Spaghetti alla Carbonara began to appear in some "Trattorie".
Spaghetti, a yolk, some Pecorino Romano cheese, bacon (better if smoked), garlic and pepper is all you need to prepare it!
Another Masterpiece, now typical from Rome, but not of Roman's origin. This comes from Amatrice, a village in the province of Rieti and it was brought to Rome by the shepherds who were going there to sell sheeps (the original name of this dish was "Gricia"-see below))
Today we use to think the typical dish is the BUCATINI ALL'AMATRICIANA (OR MATRICIANA), that's a different kind of pasta, but truth is the original recipe was with the SPAGHETTI (without TOMATO).
After the post "How Italians say I love you" it came the time for you to discover how Italian lovers call each other. For real, Italian has a endless fantasy in finding new sweet nicknames for the loved one, but here are the most common and used (and funny)!
AMORE/AMORE MIO/AMORINO: Love/my love/ little love
TESORO: Honey (literally treasure)
TATA/O: Literally nanny
STELLA/STELLINA: Literally Start/little star
CUCCIOLO/A: Literally puppy
PASSEROTTO: Literally Little Sparrow
MUSINA/O: Pretty little face
VITA/VITA MIA (typical from the south): Life/my life
PATATA/PATATO: Literally potato
PACIUGO/PACIUGHINO: Messy Concoction
Yes, we are definitely romantic people!
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