We have been talking about living in Italy, touring small towns, the beaches and eating great food. Now we have two topics that are near and dear to our hearts. Italian wine (especially locally made wines) and Gelato. Gelato is not ice cream! Ice cream is made with cream and gelato with milk. Therefore gelato has fewer fat and calories. Ice cream is also made with egg yolks but gelato uses fewer if any eggs. Gelato is always served cold but not frozen, similar to our soft ice creams. The taste is so much better especially better than bland store ice creams. The Italians chop up all kinds of things from fruit, nuts, chocolate to candy in the gelato. It is finely chopped so much you never get a piece in your mouth but every bite has full flavor. You can find gelato in every town big or small. It is a national pass time in Italy. You can get it in different size cones or cups even a waffle cone. The choices are usually vast. Undecided on which flavor to get? Ask for a taste. They will give you a small amount on a tiny spoon so you can decide. Try several then order. On a hot day, gelato is what is need to cool down and enjoy life again.
Wine is Italy. Italians all drink wine. They have reds, whites and sparkling. You can sweet (dolce) or dry (secco). Every area of Italy makes their own wines. I think to be a true Italian, you must have olive trees and grape vines on your property. There are stores that sell wine, Enotecca that let you taste different wines and serve small amounts of food. Every restaurant has a wine list. The best wines are often locally produced and don’t come in a bottle. They come in large casks or glass containers to be dispensed at the restaurants. You can order a glass, half liter or full litter carafe of these wines. They are much less expensive because there is no bottle, cork, labels, etc. They are just as delicious if not better than most of the commercial wines.
When you visit a new area seek out an enotecca. Ask to try the different local wines. Tell them your preference (white/red and sweet/dry). Make note of the ones you really like. Now at a restaurant ask what the local wine is. If it is one of the ones you liked, you will enjoy it. Wine is everywhere in Italy. It is served at lunch, dinner and in between. People take it to the beach and parks to enjoy with a panini (sandwich). Amazingly you do not see drunk Italians running around. I have seen a few drunks in Italy and almost always they were tourists visiting Italy.
We leave for our place in Velina, Italy tonight. Our next BLOG will be on Monday September 8th. We will discuss this trip in detail and the beaches we visited.
George & Jo Anne