OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! I am in heaven. The food in Milan is so superb. It's everything I imagined it would be and more. Just like in Australia, the food is a lot more fresher and healthier than it is in the States. And of course there is no better place to have Italian food than in Italy. Now, I am usually a very very picky eater, but in Milan I find myself branching out hear and there and able to try new foods. Mainly because I'm in Italy and anything made in Italy cannot be nasty. So let me break it down for ya.
My very first meal in Milan came from a restaurant called Pizza Ok! which is 3 minutes away from my apartment. When my roommates and I walked into the little restaurant we were trying to find a place that had WiFi because our apartment wasn't set up yet. So, I walked up to the counter and said " you have WiFi (weefee)". The guy looked at me as if I was crazy, I continued by saying " parlati inglese?" (do you speak English). Well it turns out he did speak English, as many Milanese do, but they didn't have WiFi. Either way, it smelled good and we were starving so we decided to sit and eat. The same guy from the counter ended up being our waiter and, knowing how illiterate we were with Italian, he gave us menus in English. This was also our first experience with prices in Milan, so you can imagine our surprise and confusion when we saw prices of 4,50, 5, and 6,50, euro. We asked the waiter if the prices were for slices or whole pizzas and he told us they were indeed for whole pizzas. So, not knowing how big this pizza was and to keep it on the safe side we ordered one cheese and hot salami (because pepperoni doesn't really exist in Italy) pizza to share for 6,50 euros. The pizza was out in a jiffy and when I tell you it was good, I mean it was absolutely amazing. Their pizza is huge but it is super thin. The cheese is stringy, the sauce is tangy, and the salami was perfect. All of this put together made one of the best pizzas I had ever tasted. Since that lunch in Pizza Ok, I have eaten 7 pizzas from them. It's a blessing and a curse that they are so close.
After trying pizza and panini in Milan, it was time for some good pasta. The restaurant of choice, is right around the corner from the university. It's a very small but cozy and cute restaurant. The menus are in Italian but by this time I knew how to order food, and the basics for reading a menu. I decided on Rigatoni con Pomodoro con Parmesan formaggio. Which is just rigatoni pasta with tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese. The noodles were a little under cooked but other than that it too was absolutely delicious. I have had that dish 3 times now in that restaurant and each time it gets better and better.
Now, I know it sounds like I just keep going to the same spots over and over again, which I am...but not really. I've tried food from many different places since arriving in Milan. These are just my favorite places so far. Some other foods that I have tried are chiacchiere and pamarotza. Chiacchiere is an Italian pastry with powdered sugar on top. At first it tastes like nothing, but after a few bites the flavor really starts to hit you. I love it. I tried chiacchiere for the first time at an Italian house party. Then there is panzaroti, which is almost like a calzone. The difference is that instead of being made with pizza crust, it's made with bread and it can be baked or fried. Inside, the bread is stuffed with all sorts of things. The most popular is tomato and mozzarella, but you can also get hot salami, basil, turkey, ham, or even something sweet. It is very delicious and a Milanese favorite. I tried this while on a tour of Milan. The best place to get panzaroti is at a restaurant that's right next to the Duomo Cathedral. It only cost 2 euros at most.
When I don't go out to eat, I stay at home and cook. Mostly pasta for right now because I am still confused when I walk into the grocery store in Milan. I use pictures to guide me but sometimes that is not enough and you just have to go on faith. Sometimes that faith works out and other times it doesn't. The perfect example is when I went grocery shopping to make tacos. I grabbed the perfect meat: minced ground beef just by looking at the texture of the meat, but when it came to picking up sour cream the exact same way, I was left with marscapone, which is a type of Italian cheese (that doesn't go so great with tacos if I may add).
I have only been in Milan for two weeks, I still have many more weeks to try many more foods and I can't wait for it all. But in between all of that, I have to remember that I am also in Milan to study. So stay tuned to hear about my classes at Universita Cattolica.
Italian phrase for this post:
Can I have....? and That's It!
Posso Avere? and Basso!
Thanks for sharing in this blessing with me!