Was it too much food? Absolutely. Do I regret eating any of it? Not one bite.
We are here with our Food & Wine Tour group to Discover, Savor and Share – to explore the foods and wines of Umbria. It’s not possible to shape the experience without enjoying a few extra bites. We have six full days to discover hundreds of years of traditions. To enjoy a meal around the table – not standing at the bar eating a sandwich. For Americans, relaxing over a meal can be a challenge. To linger over two meals a day can be excruciating.
In the states we multi-task our way through a meal. Sitting at our desk with a phone in one hand and a sandwich in the other. Grabbing a bite to eat and a cup of coffee or a bottle of water every time we get into the car. Italians enjoy a small coffee at the bar and if they want more they make an additional stop. The idea of eating in the car is foreign. Their cars are not littered with fast food wrappers. Their children don’t eat foods that are non-spillable so that they can eat on the go. When I’m in Italy it all makes sense. When I’m back in the states I’m the one biting into an egg sandwich as I speed down I-95 at 70+ miles per hour – only to have the perfectly cooked yolk explode all over me and over the windshield. So much for multitasking and freeing up my time. Should have spent 15 minutes sitting down and relishing my breakfast instead of half an hour detailing the car.
We spend our week in Italy enjoying many meals together with new friends. Our most over the top, I-can-never-eat-another-bite-again day is at Ristorante Perbacco with our friend Ernesto. He has designed a 14 course tasting menu (sometimes more but never less) for us to cook together and to enjoy together. Starting with a main course and working backwards to dessert the fun never ends. We spend our day making dough that can be transformed into fried bread, baked bread or even pasta. Making pasta dough and turning it into five different shapes, each needing a separate sauce to showcase it. And most of all we relax and we laugh together. We are creating so many different foods that we don’t need to worry about precision and as a result everything turns out perfectly. So we pour a prosecco, take off our aprons and toast to another successful adventure together before we sit down and eat.
If I had to take out a few bites – where would I begin? I would begin at home – never in Italy.