Let’s talk about… Nutella, baaaaaby.
Sing it with me now a la Salt n’ Peppa: Let’s talk abouuut…Nutella, baby.
Although I lean towards an ode to Italian Nutella, I promise I won’t make this solely about Nutella. It’s true that Nutella is to Italy what almond/peanut butter is to America… delicious and indispensable. And let me just throw out the disclaimer that YES, Nutella in Italy is on an entirely different level than what you get in America. It’s something that I can go years without because once you’ve had Italian Nutella, you become a Nutella snob. If you’re smart with a refined palate, you refuse to settle for the mediocrity that is American-made Nutella. Nothing against my country tis of thee… but I just can’t. In America it’s almond/peanut butter for life, and in Italy, it’s Nutella. But that’s not the only thing that’s better in Italy.
When I’m home, I don’t eat pizza, dairy or bread when I’m in control. I live a very gluten-free and somewhat paleo lifestyle, but I’m not super rigid. When I go out, I sometimes allow myself those things. But I pay for it. More often than not, I always have some level of suffering with food that is out of the norm for me. I contribute this to years of chemo and other drugs to treat my Lupus and kidneys. There are always long-term side effects that aren’t necessarily advertised, and it’s always been just my luck that I’ve been the statistic that gets all the most random side effects. I’m thinking maybe it’s part of my buttery charm to have all these quirks, yes?
I also believe it has everything to do with how things are prepared in America, how everything is so processed, and every kind of sneaky additive that goes into our ingredients. The food that has a negative effect on me back home never has that effect on me in Italy or when I travel abroad. There’s still so much integrity that goes into the food and ingredients abroad. It’s a cultural art, whereas back home, let’s be honest, it’s a convenience thing, and, all about them dollabills.
To be perfectly blunt about my food diaries, they are boring. But I experiment a lot because it makes me happy to be creative and find new ways to make the mundane seem exciting and shiny. And I have a lot of success with that… but if you saw what is standard for me, you’d probably shed a tear or two. Hence the reason that when I travel, I have an “all bets are off” attitude. I don’t go crazy, but I try the things I want to try, with the mindset that I’m going to recreate them in Katiuscia-style. I try to nail the flavors and spices used, and I get super excited about the kitchen projects that I’m going to have as soon as I’m home! I know, I know…. #nerdalert.
But I’ve included some photos from my Italian food diaries thus far, not to make you super jelly… but to help you live vicariously through me. NomNom.