Often times when people travel to other countries they find comfort in food that they can recognize.
When a friend of mine visited she almost flipped out when she saw a McDonalds in Paris and just had to stop there – but boy, was she disappointed because it didn’t taste anything like the McDonalds from the States. Live and learn.
For me it was pizza. If you don’t recognize anything else on a menu you will recognize the word pizza. It’s the same word in German, French and Italian. My favorite is just a regular ol’ plain cheese pizza, yum. When I first came over here Ben did all the ordering for me in restaurants because my limited vocabulary of ‘Gruessech’ wouldn’t get you a mouthful of anything. He took me to an Italian pizzeria for dinner once and wow, did it smell good in there. I asked him to order me a cheese pizza with extra cheese. Ben told me, no, you don’t do that here; no extra cheese. Then he asked me what kind of red wine I wanted with it. Red wine? Are you kidding? I’m not a real beer person but I thought pizza and beer went together, right? Wrong. Red wine. Okay, okay, you pick. When the pizza and wine came Ben picked up his fork and knife and started eating. Yup.
So there I was in an Italian restaurant eating a cheese pizza with no extra cheese, with a fork and knife and sipping red wine. Talk about culture shock. I was thinking, this is so wrong (but the pizza was great!). Know what? I love it now. Like I said, I was never really big on beer anyway so I don’t miss it at all. Red wine goes wonderful with pizza, I’d go with a Chianti to keep everything in an Italian theme. Also, depending on the restaurant, if it’s real classy (yes, there are classy places that sell pizza) I do the fork and knife thing like a pro otherwise I cut little two-bite-sized wedges and use my fingers. A bit of a compromise.
You know what they say; when in Rome do like the Romans do. Speaking of which, they have some really amazing pizza in Rome, too. Some are from the street vendors and you are supposed to eat it with your hands!! Oh, you weren’t thinking of that saying, you were thinking: You can take the American out of America but you can’t take America out of the American. I guess a little of that, too.
I’m hungry, is it time for dinner yet??