Thursday, January 31, 2013

All We Do Is Eat

Alex and I have accomplished quite a bit in Modena in these last few days. Some of it involves getting souvenirs for family and friends. Most of it involves eating.

I of course had to get more hot chocolate at my favorite bar. This stuff is beyond words. And this time they gave me a little side of whipped cream!

When I was paying, the man behind the counter kept calling me "la ragazza americana." The American girl. I guess I kind of stick out like a sore thumb here a little bit...

Last night, we dined at Da Danilo, a little restaurant in the center of town. With our antipasto, they served gnocco fritto. It's a local treat that they serve in practically every bar. It's basically fried pasta dough (and has nothing to do with gnocchi). I love it!

Our server recommended that we stuff the gnocco with some prosciutto crudo. Excellent idea.

Our antipasto with prosciutto crudo, salami, some kind of cheese, and fig spread.

First course: vegetable soup. Mmmmmm nice and hearty.

Second course: omelette with prosciutto (not crudo). I need to learn that if the word crudo is not attached, it means that I'm probably getting ham--something I don't like nearly as much. Plus, the eggs were kind of overcooked...

Dessert: gelato with balsamic vinegar drizzled on top. If there's one thing Modena does well, it's balsamic. This dessert was awesome. We went to a balsamic store in town and the guy had 100-year balsamic for sale (the older it is, the sweeter it is). 220 euros for a bottle the size of golfball.

Today, January 31st, was the Festival of San Geminiano, Modena's saint.

My pictures don't do it justice, but there are tons of vendors spreading out from the center of town. Hundreds and hundreds of them, selling everything from socks to baby toys to amaretti cookies.

Alex bought truffle salami and truffle cheese. Our family loves everything truffle.

We also hit up some candy stations. I looooooooove black licorice; they sell giant strands of the stuff. And they had candy apples!

We also got some goodies for Alex to bring home. Oh, and those things that look like fruit in the bottom left hand corner of this picture are actually giant gummy candies.

For lunch, we ordered a local delicacy--piadino. It's like an italian tortilla. They use it here in replacement of ciabbata for a panino. Our piadino had prosciutto crudo, cheese, and eggplant. Delicious!

And I got a hat at the market. I forgot to bring a hat to Modena so my head has been quite chilly some days. The top is big enough for my to fit my giant head of hair into which is also useful.

Tonight, we had a fixed menu dinner next door to my residence. It was tagliatelle with cinghiali. Cinghiale is--according to my italian dictionary--wild boar.

Next course, more wild boar with polenta.

Oh yeah, by the way: I'm taking a 7-month break from being a vegetarian if you haven't noticed. I'm going to take full advantage of the wonderful food around me and return to my fruit and veggie lifestyle when I get back home.

I have to say, the prosciutto crudo here is INCREDIBLE. Oh, and the guy at the salami stand in the Mercato Albinelli knows me now. I went three days in a row to buy salame napoli for Alex.

Salami guy: "Hai finito tutto?" (You finished everything?)
Me: *face turns red* "Si. Mio fratello amo il salame." (Yes. My brother loves salami)
Then I proceed to buy an absurd amount of salami and prosciutto.
Hopefully I'll be friends with the produce people soon too.


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