If you're wondering where the heck I've been for the past couple of days...well, to be honest, I've been right here. I've been a BUSY bee! Sunday was spent writing my massive research paper on food blogs. But not before breakfast happened! We're all starting to feel more or less ready to come home, and this weekend was the perfect opportunity to go to something we've been planning for a while - Sunday brunch! The notion of pancakes has never made me so excited.
Please notice that 1) this syrup is from the mythical land of VERTmont, not Vermont...hmm, I wonder if the Vertmont maple trees are better? and 2) that little bit of text on the bottom there says "Product of Canada." Well, wherever Vertmont, Canada is - Italy likes your syrup. I however was unimpressed. But I was so happy about pancakes & syrup, it wasn't all about taste.
And neither were the pancakes. Flimsy, flat, uninspired. I think they only made me crave real pancakes more...nevertheless, the brunch experience was fun. Under no other circumstances would paying $15 for 4 subpar pancakes be worth it, except for this particular one. Sometimes food isn't about the flavor, but more for the experience that comes with it. Which is really what I love about it--food is not just about staying alive and thriving. It has symbols and meanings attached to it, it's an event in and of itself. It's just so cool, once you start thinking about it.
Which I clearly do all the time, because then I come here and ramble on about to to you :)
I swear paper writing burns calories. It's like a marathon for your BRAIN. And my brain started to get hungry.
bright green and beautiful!
I bought some grapes at the grocery store because I needed a new fruit, and my salad was sadly lacking in color, so I figured, what the heck! Let's throw some grapes on there! I love strawberries in salad - with balsamic vinegar, they are to live for - so I figured grapes couldn't be too far off. They weren't but I think my allergies have stuffed me up enough to not be able to really taste things. The sweetness complimented the beans very nicely though.
After several hours of slooooow-going research, I needed a break. No better excuse for gelato.
Sorbetto al cioccolato (chocolate sorbet - no milk), soia alla vaniglia (soy vanilla), and coffee crunch!
The chocolate sorbet was perfect. I like it better than regular ice cream because it tastes darker and more like rich cocoa powder - I'm a hard core dark chocolate girl. No milk for me - the darker the better! The soy vanilla was wonderful, as expected - such a unique, creamy and sweet flavor! The vanilla is very present but there is a nuttiness to it that just makes it fun to eat. The coffee crunch was phenomenal - good coffee ice cream, not too sweet or strong, with these wonderful little bits of chocolate-coated-crispy-cookie-something or other that was just....mmmmmmm. No words. Just the one letter.
And then, a couple more hours passed, and it was time for dessert #2. Don't judge.
I had one chocolate left from our trip to the Perugina store in Perugia, and it was calling to me...or maybe I just started hearing things after becoming absorbed into paperland. Either way, surrender to chocolate is always a good choice.
Does that say mousse??? Could this be true?
They can't possibly have put actual chocolate mousse into that little thing...
or could they?
...OH YES THEY COULD!!
A little bite of fluffy, cocoa-y heaven in the palm of my hand. A spoon full of sugar may help the medicine go down...but a truffle full of mousse helps the research paper get written!
Alright, so I've been talking about this paper a LOT. It wasn't so much hard to write as it was to organize. I was researching food blogs, their recent popularity and what it says about the role food plays in Western society. (Hence all the food rambling.) It didn't turn out as groundbreaking as I wanted it to, which is usually how most of my papers go, but it was finished. I pulled my first all-nighter on it, actually. I just kept going and then before I knew it was 6 AM, the birds were chirping and the sun was rising.
I would stay up all night while I'm in Florence writing a paper. What can I say, I'm a geek. Don't hate.
I actually wasn't sleepy at all, until I got to class of course. But it was actually kind of nice. I did some yoga, made some oats:
Banana-cinnamon oats + pineapple yogurt. Wicked good. (Told you I was getting a little homesick!)
Class was a little rough, but Food & Culture is always a fun class to go to, and I had the prospect of this guy to look forward to:
Finocchiona (fennel-spiked salami) + pecorino. I think I actually closed my eyes eating this it was so good.
It was definitely a day for nap in the sun at the park. And so I did.
Alaina and, being the [fabulous] control-freak foodies that we are scheduled out all the restaurants we have left to go to, and because of an event this Tuesday night preventing us from doing Ethnic Tuesday, we went out tonight! Ethnic Tuesday-->Italian Monday. We checked out a cute little trattoria on the street that our school is on that I have been dying to try. And my major advisor--the one who told us about Sergio's--also recommended it. Plus, we got to sit outside, and the weather is finally making that a very appealing option :)
I went with the spaghetti with fresh clams:
It was good, but HUGE - too much pasta! The clams were alright, I think it's just that they don't do much for me. I have no qualms eating them, but I always find them more or less flavorless. Mussels on the other hand rock my seafood-lovin socks:)
Tonight, however, was another instance of food as an experience. Sitting outside, sipping wine and chatting with friends over a meal made it a wonderful dinner, even if the food itself wasn't the best I've had (which is not to say I didn't enjoy it - it's a challenge to eat badly in Italy!).
Isn't it cute? A very enjoyable meal.
Tuesday is looking to be more or less eventful, and I hope to be saner and write less scattered schizo post...stay tuned ;)