Pronto? Florence called and sent me back in her torturous trap of amazing delicious food and wine. Seattle was a whirlwind!The several months I spent at home proved again and again how I really admire Italy’s relationship with food and culture, with humanity and with each other. There are also some very nasty things lurking it its society, but overall I think Italy provides a great example of how we should be growing food, eating and drinking. Of course, I’m sure that the media has brought light to issues like improper waste management, exploiting migrant workers in the tomato fields, importing grain from abroad for commercially made products and passing it off as “Made in Italy”, etc. There are issues similar to these and more also in the states. But at least on the surface, Italy still seems to be able to provide a solid supply of quality food and drink at affordable prices. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to cry for overpriced kale and apples, flavorless milk, bland meat and watery unripe tomatoes. And that’s in the Pacific Northwest where we are relatively spoiled with abundance in terms of diverse food and high quality wine.
I ate well in Seattle, don’t get me wrong. What I noticed is that I ate, and we eat, randomly. There is no structure or routine to our food consumption habits. One could easily have sushi and pasta all in the same meal period. I noticed that there is little community around food and drinking. I think these traditions are dying in Italy, too. However, I think in Seattle and the states in general, there is a burgeoning food movement. People are striving to create a food culture, typical products and artisan goods. Not to mention, my state of Washington produces some truly stellar wines. The only problem we face is making that movement fair and accessible to everyone like it is in countries like Italy. At this time, to eat food with flavor, craftsmanship and wines of quality, you must pay for it. Big time.
I hope that in the future, I will be able to bring some of that old world knowledge back with me to the movement in the states that is just missing a few pieces to be complete.
With that aside, I am keeping myself occupied until the tourism season hits to write, reflect and develop some relationships. In Florence, my goal this year is to go even deeper into food production, traditional products, key purveyors and wines. I plan on spending some time in Piedmont, Sicily and some other key regions that have some truly prestigious traditions. I would like to get deeper into Tuscan cuisine through either taking some classes, apprenticing or assisting with chefs during culinary activities. So, stay tuned! I will be eating and researching around in between food and wine tours. You can keep up with me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
For the love of a tasty adventure,
The Curious Appetite
By the way, there is still time to vote for The Curious Appetite for Best Food Blog! Would you be so kind as to contribute a lovely (and appreciated) vote? Vote Via Italy Magazine: http://www.italymagazine.com/blog-awards/2014?field_blog_category_tid=44499