Student by Day, Foodie by Night: Eating My Way through Italy and Europe

Pizza con melanzane ("pizza with eggplant") at a trattoria in Trastevere, Rome

Pizza con melanzane (“pizza with eggplant”) at a trattoria in Trastevere, Rome…yes, I ate the entire pizza myself, but I justified this because it was my last day in Rome

I wish that I had taken more pictures of all the different dishes and cuisine that I tried during my semester abroad, but below are some of the highlights.  What food  do I miss the most from Italy?  Easy: gelato.  It just doesn’t have the same consistency in the states.  But of course I’ll miss the al dente texture of the pasta and the mouth-watering fresh cheeses on the pizza.  It is true what they say about Italian food.  It leaves your belly full and you  yearning for more.  In a country drowning in debt, its food is perhaps one of its only past times that is surviving and even thriving in some cases.  Rest assured there will be more posts on food, this is only a “taste” of what I experienced…

Gnocchi on the island of Capri off the coast of Naples

Gnocchi on the island of Capri off the coast of Naples

Fettucchine alfredo at the original restaurant in Rome where alfredo sauce and fettucchine alfredo were first made!  The name of this famous restaurant is L'Originale Alfredo Ristorante, and celebrities from Etta James to Peter Jennings have dined at this upscale restaurant.  Alfredo sauce, though originally Italian, got exported to America and for some reason never stuck as an Italian staple

fettuccine alfredo at the original restaurant in Rome where alfredo sauce and fettuccine alfredo were first made! The name of this famous restaurant is L’Originale Alfredo Ristorante, and celebrities from Etta James to Peter Jennings have dined at this upscale restaurant. Alfredo sauce, though originally Italian, got exported to America and for some reason never stuck as an Italian staple

Gelato in Florence.  Some Italian cities, such as Florence, have a law that states that gelato must be covered in the case to ensure freshness, though not every gelateria follows this law.  The name "Grom" covers their gelato and you can taste the difference because of it.  Though it is a chain in Italy it is still delicious and popular among tourists and locals alike.

Gelato in Florence. Some Italian cities, such as Florence, have a law that states that gelato must be covered in the case to ensure freshness, though not every gelateria follows this law. The gelateria “Grom” covers their gelato and you can taste the difference because of it. Though it is a chain in Italy it is still delicious and popular among tourists and locals alike.  It is rare on a hot day to not see a line out the door and wrapping around the nearest street corner in front of a Grom.

A cannoli on the island of Capri, one of the best cannoli I had in Italy.  The absolute best cannoli I tasted was in Rome at a restaurant near my school.  They fill the shell with ricotta cheese right in front of you and then powder it and add a slice of orange, simply divine (considering its only steps away from the Vatican) :) And the owners of this restaurant are from Sicily which is where cannolis were first made! You haven't tasted a true Italian cannoli until you've had one front this place....or in Sicily
A cannoli on the island of Capri, one of the best cannoli I had in Italy. The absolute best cannoli I tasted was in Rome at a restaurant near my school. They fill the shell with ricotta cheese right in front of you and then powder it and add a slice of orange, and you know that it is extremely fresh since it is made in front of you and not sitting in a case.  It is simply divine (considering its only steps away from the Vatican) 🙂 And the owners of this restaurant are from Sicily which is where cannolis were first made! You haven’t tasted a true Italian cannoli until you’ve had one from this place….or in Sicily

More cannoli
More cannoli

I fell in love with Nutella during my time abroad, and luckily I never had to part with it because it is everywhere in America too!

I fell in love with Nutella during my time abroad, and luckily I never had to part with it because it is everywhere in America too!

Special puff pastries with cream filling that were being sold everywhere in Rome on a feast day for a saint that happened to coincide with the Inauguration Mass of Pope Francis on March 19

Special puff pastries with cream filling that were being sold everywhere in Rome on a feast day for a saint that happened to coincide with the Inauguration Mass of Pope Francis on March 19

Pastries being sold at a chocolate fair in Florence in February.  The calories from eating one of these items is enough to cause you to slip into a food coma.

Pastries being sold at a chocolate fair in Florence in February. The calories from eating one of these items is enough to cause you to slip into a food coma.

A dish that I made during a cooking class in Florence, with eggplant, tomato, cheese, and all kinds of seasonings.  Its great dipped in olive oil

A dish that I made during a cooking class in Florence, with eggplant, tomato, cheese, and all kinds of seasonings. Its great dipped in olive oil

Yes, that is ice in my class next to the Coke bottle!  I was so shocked when I got ice in my glass from a seafood restaurant in Trastevere that I had to snap a pic.  Ice is not generally served at restaurants in Italy and much of Europe, sometimes drinks and water come cold and most of the time they don't, so this was a real treat!

Yes, that is ice in my glass next to the Coke bottle! I was so shocked when I got ice in my glass from a seafood restaurant in Trastevere that I had to snap a pic. Ice is not generally served at restaurants in Italy and much of Europe, sometimes drinks and water come cold and most of the time they don’t, so this was a real treat!

The popular Scottish dish of haggis that I tried while in Edinburgh.  It consists of minced liver and is actually quite tasty
The traditional Scottish dish of haggis that I tried while in Edinburgh. It consists of minced liver and is actually quite tasty

The Guinness and beef casserole I had for lunch after visiting the Blarney Stone in County Cork, Ireland.  This was arguably my best meal during study abroad believe it or not

The Guinness and beef casserole I had for lunch after visiting the Blarney Stone in County Cork, Ireland. This was arguably my best meal during study abroad believe it or not

For the best burger in Rome, you must try The Perfect Bun.  Located in the city center near most major attractions, food critics rave about this place and it is every Americans best friend if they are craving a good ole' fashioned hamburger.  Sometimes it was nice to have American cuisine for a change!

For the best burger in Rome, you must try The Perfect Bun. Located in the city center near most major attractions, food critics rave about this place and it is consistenly rated as the best burger place in Rome.  It is every American’s best friend if they are craving a good ole’ fashioned hamburger. Sometimes it was nice to have American cuisine for a change!

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