Eating My Way Through Italy


Hong Ruyue, School of Information Science and Technology

Apart from the awesome natural scenery, historical architecture and well-known scientists, the mouth-watering Italian cuisine enjoys great popularity worldwide.

After our arrival in Venice, our first lesson about Italian culture, Italy for beginners, focused on Italian food. Italians take their food very seriously. A formal meal usually consists of four courses: Antipasti are nibbles like olives, cheese and salami. The first couse-Il primo-is pasta or minestrone. The main course -Il secondo-is meat or fish with salad or vegetables. Dessert is fruit or a cake. I experienced local Italian food through lunches at Padova and dinner on my own.

We ate mostly pasta during our summer program. The normal kinds of pasta are spaghetti, macaroni, lasagna and tagliatelle. But if that is all the pasta you know, you are too naive. Every day we ate different pasta. The shapes of pasta are far beyond your imagination! For example: Conchiglie, Farfalle, Fettuccine, Lasagna, Ravioli, and Rotini. Italian pasta sauce have four varieties: red sauce, green sauce, white sauce and black sauce. Red sauce is mainly made up of tomatoes, which are widely used. Green sauce contains basil, pine nut and olive oil. Apart from being a pasta sauce, you can also dip bread with this sauce. White sauce is mainly used for seafood pasta and black sauce which is madefromsquid ink is specially used for squid pasta.

Pizza is another famous traditional Italian food. However, what pops up in our mind first is always Pizza Hut or Papa John’s. Italian Pizza is much thinner than American’s, so one person can order a large round one (taking up half a table) and finish it completely! Never say Pizza Hut or Papa John’s in an Italian restaurant, or you will have eggs thrown at you, for Italians don’t regard them as pizza! I enjoyed several types of pizza and became addicted! Fortunately, we got a chance to learn to make an Italian Pizza on our own. At the beginning, the chef showed us the specific steps: we should sprinkle some flour on the table and place the wet flour on it. We flattened to a thin round with a rolling pin. Then we smeared some tomato sauce and sprinkled a handful of cheese. The last step is to put it in an oven for 3-5 minutes. Simple but Delicious! It will be hard for me to forget that day.

Due to the limited words I have no choice but to stop here. Thanks for this meaningful journey to Italy which gives me a chance to experience the culture of this spectacular country!