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About Me

November 3, 2010

In September of 2008 I left the United States for the first time and flew to Italy for one semester of language-immersive study abroad. After five months under the persuasive influence of my Tuscan host family, I had grown to love fresh figs, extremely rare steaks, rabbit in any form, artichokes, and gelato.

After five months indulging in Italian food and food culture, I was ready to stay forever.

Then I went back to college in Vermont so that I could freeze my nose off.

The thing is, I took part of Italy back to Vermont with me. Not just my memories, but my entire approach to life. After a few months in Italy (okay, to be honest, it was only after a few minutes), I realized: This is it. This is what’s been missing for the last twenty years of my life.

In Italy, each day is a work of art. Each meal is a symphony, its flavors melding like musical notes in endless new and fantastic combinations. If you’ve eaten a meal with Italians, you know that it’s like going to church. Certain rules must be followed; disobeying them leads to self-righteous outrage.

The wrong wine at the wrong time? Not finishing what’s on your plate? Skipping the fruit course? Buying pre-made ingredients from the supermarket? These offenses will not be tolerated.

Like a church service, the meal follows a specific pattern, a ritual. Participating in this ritual with those around you creates an intimacy that might be compared to sharing a sacrament in a church, an intimacy unknowable in other circumstances.

In other words, the rigidity of Italian dining is what allows creativity and beauty to flourish.

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