Friday, April 11, 2014

Food! (Part 2 -and an Italian lesson): What's in the fridge?

After grocery shopping one day, it occured to me to take some pictures of the food in my fridge. Looking at the pictures, I realized that explaining all the food in there is a great lesson in Italian language and culture. I have included lots of links to recipes, descriptions, and images. Buon appetito!
The whole fridge. Notice the PB&J on the top door shelf. This is the "USA food corner". 
So, here goes... what's in my fridge (il frigorifero).

1. Pasta: Four different kinds! All are "fresh", but from the supermarket (i.e., not "homemade"). Orecchiette (little ears... love this with pesto), Ravioli di zucca (pumpkin ravioli, fabulous with olive oil and grana padano cheese), tortellini di ricotta e spinaci (any tomato sauce will do), and trofie (little pasta twists... planning to have these with pesto, which, apparently, is a good instinct because trofie, like pesto, are from Genova). Wondering about the names of all those different pasta shapes?

The fridge also contains two pasta sauces: pesto fresco con basilico e pinoli (fresh pesto with basil and pine nuts -FYI the best basil comes from Genova; sometimes the sauce is called, "pesto alla genovese"), and suco pronto arribbiata (ready-made "angry" tomato sauce; it is really spicy!).

Italian lessons from the pasta shelf (from left to right): orecchiette, ravioli di zucca, tortellini di spinaci e ricotta, pesto alla genovese, e trofie 

2. Formaggio (cheese): grated grana padano (my parents' favorite. Sadly, I wimped out and bought the pre-grated kind. This is probably a sin), stracchino cremoso (a uniquely Italian cheese, very soft, creamy, and delicious. It's great with the olives and grissini -see below), emmental (what we would call "swiss", sliced), and edamer ("edam", a mild, Dutch cheese, sliced).

3. Yogurt: It is very good here! I am currently sampling these flavors: limone, mirtillo nero (blueberry), and agrumi di Sicilia (Sicilian citrus). They were out of my favorite, "mela verde" (green apple).

4. Verdure (veggies): olive (olives... I eat them everyday), insalata di pomodoro e cetriolo (leftover tomato and cucumber salad), rucola (arrugula -I am addicted to it, even in the US), insalata mista (mixed salad greens), peperone giallo (yellow bell pepper), radicchio (red cabbage, typical of the Veneto region), spinaci (no translation needed; it's great sauteed with the radiccio in olive oil with garlic), carote (carrots), aglio (garlic), and zenzero (ginger root -I use it to make fresh ginger tea, love it). One veggie that is very popular here and also grows locally is finocchio (fennel). I bought a bulb once, but, just adding a little bit to a salad here and there, it was hard to eat all of it on my own. I will have to explore more ways to use it.

Italian lessons from the produce drawer: (top) pera, radicchio, spinaci (bottom) zenzero, peperone giallo, e carote 

5. Altre cose (other items): grissini (toasty-bread sticks that make an awesome snack with cheese and olives -much better than crackers), panne integrale (whole-grain bread, the same, dark, dense, thinly sliced German kind I buy in the US), latte biologico (organic milk -which, by the way, costs just a few cents more than non-organic milk), and PB&J (a gift from a visiting friend, and representative of the USA -no one eats peanut butter here).

Although this time I shopped at a supermarket, I love bringing home fresh veggies from the market in Piazza delle Erbe. Maybe you can tell, I don't eat out much. Most days I am lucky enough to go home for a late lunch, and I make pasta and salad. For dinner it's usually bread or grissini, cheese, olives, and sauteed veggies and/or salad. With all the great yogurt, cheese, and gelato (and no soy/almond milk to be found), I definitely eat more dairy products here.

What's not in the fridge? All the really yummy stuff! Biscotti (which means, in the general sense, "cookies". What we call biscotti in the US are actually "cantuccini" here), cioccolato (dare I translate?), Nutella (All the students around here have their names on stickers in the style of the Nutella logo. Wish I could get one, but I doubt I will find Robin unless I special-order it), mandorle (almonds), tè (tea -I know I am really missing out here in Italy, but I do not drink coffee!), and miele (honey).

"A good morning with Nutella". Mmm… 
Hope my fridge has been a good Italian language lesson. Making shopping lists in Italian has been a great language exercise. Now that I have done this blogpost, I'm thinking that this type of "refrigerator report" -including photos- could be a useful activity in any world languages class. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment