Part of the objective of this course and visit to Italy is to compare Italian cuisine with American cuisine. Part of the comparison includes an analysis as to how our differences impact American health.
As an overview, in Italy, the breakfast meal is usually light and may include toast, fruit, and/or yogurt. Eggs and meat for breakfast are not common. Lunch in Italy is usually served from around 1:00 PM and goes until around 3:00 PM. Shops during this time are closed as everyone does lunch at that time. Even kids come home from school and have lunch with their families. Dinner is usually around 8:00 pm and lasts a couple of hours. Italians don't snack. In the smaller cities there are not fast food restaurants (in Rome I saw McDonalds but not in any of the other cities I visited).
June, our instructor, wanted us to experience a typical Italian meal that was cooked by a local family. Our dinner was cooked by a mother and son and lasted about 3 hours. We were all stuffed by the end of dinner.
Here are the photos of this typical Italian meal:
Fried zucchini and fried eggplant. This was to die for....very light and very flavorful.
Chopped swordfish with tomato sauce, herbs, spices was cooked and then poured over pasta for our pasta dish. This was sooo good.
(Also, when pasta is served you eat it immediately. You do not wait for others to be served. It is considered bad manners to not eat when served).
Stuffed and cooked Calamari as the main dish. The calamari was stuffed with herbs, basil, garlic, egg, bread, and olive oil.
Ensalada mista with greens, tomatoes, olive oil was provided for our salad course.
For desert we had home made tiramisu.
Of course there were various wines to compliment the different courses and also "still or sparkling" water.
There were also some after dinner liqueurs available. Limoncello is the typical liquor that is shared after dinner.
However, an after dinner coffee, which is typical in the USA, is not typical in Italy. Coffee's are usually not made and available after 3:00 pm.
Cooking, having conversation, and then slowly dining throughout the evening was the experience we had for this typical Italian dining. It was lovely and very, very, filling.