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Ooooo, another epic. The next one is sure to be as well as I'm about to travel internationally (ya can't say overseas unless you live on an island (Aus, UK, NZ) or somewhere that thinks it's an island (US, sorry American friends). If you wanna skip it, more new photos of Padova are up! Yay!

"Get a table near the street, in our old familiar place, you and I face to face" It's time for me to pontificate on food. I'm in a pontificatory (?) mood having sat in on my first ever Cattolica sermon today. The food here is a topic close to my heart, not just because of it's delightfulness (A wise friend once said 2 of the best things in life are food and sleep. I still reckon she forgot one.) but also because it's 1/2 of my sweet, sweet deal with the INFN (Italian nuclear organisation); free accommodation and meals reimbursed upon presentation of receipt.

However, I cannot talk on Italian food in general; it changes markedly between regions and most of my time has been in the north. Thus, I will limit myself to Veneto cuisine. Venito is the Italian province that consists of the parts of the Venetian empire that fell to Italy. There are bits of Croatia that belonged to Venice too.

So, going into a Veneto restaurant, the first thing you come across are crispy bread stick things called 'grissini', and maybe some sliced bread. These are free in so much as they are covered by the 'coperto' (cover charge, usually about 2 Euro or just over A$3).

Next comes the choice of drinks. Tap beer is usually from across Europe, but I'm not too impressed in the usual options. "Perhaps a bottle of Rosé instead?" As a rule, the vino del casa (house wine) in Italy is excellent, because if it weren't the locals would shun the joint. No paint stripper here as at home. With wine you usually get aqua minerale, normale or frizzante (you can work that our yerselves).

Next, you go down one of two paths: prima piata and secondo piata, or pizza. The prima and seconda option will usually be a plate or bowl of something by itself, no sides. Ask for Roast Beef alla Anglise, you get beef alone. Ask for salad, that's it. This is your path to pasta. In Veneto, this path also leads you to beautiful seafood, possibly fried in a light batter of egg and flour alone. Delicious beyond words. You can also get Vitella Tonnato, thinly sliced roast veal in a tuna paste, served cold. Lovely. There may also be polenta, which is corn-meal mash that either comes sloppy or in a fried loaf-thing. Sometimes you can get a smattering of everything of offer, if you are lucky.

Pizzas are all thin crust in this part of the world. You choose traditional or house specials. The traditionals are as one would expect, except Peperoni is capsicum (American style 'peperoni' is diavola, or 'hell'); Capricosa has artichoke (It turns out capricosa means 'sexy but capricious woman'); marinara has no seafood what-so-ever, as it's to give sailors a break; and you will never find pineapple on a pizza, but maybe egg (if you can cope with them being called 'uovo'). The house pizzas could be any damned thing. Grain and corn is not unheard of. Most importantly, you are quite welcome to pour olive oil (meh) or more excellently olio picanto (chilli oil) on you pizzas.

Dolce (sweets) is all the usual stuff, though the tiramisu is better than Straya by a country mile. Or 15,000 km.

It is usual to finish up with an Italian style coffee: short and strong. One variety (of the many) that is noteworthy is Café Coretto, coffee with a correction of grappa. Friends, grappa is horrid crap.

That is all. You are free to resume your normal lives now.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
May. 28th, 2007 12:00 pm (UTC)
Oooh sounds like my kind of capriciosa. And damn right there's no pineapple. Neither pineapple or chicken (or barbecue sauce) ever belong on pizza.

-Viv
paulfraser
May. 29th, 2007 03:57 pm (UTC)
Sadly, nor does tuna by any conventional sense. And yet, it is here. I will try it and report back.
theonlyh
May. 29th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC)
Drop a dime in the box, play a song about New Orleans.
This Friday will see our “Blokes night out” featuring Mr. Kevin Bloody Wilson.
Despite it being in order of the Don Digglers imminent 30th, both he and Mark have already regressed to their early teens.

Oh, and Pauly, a bottle of red, a bottle of white…

(innuendo warning)

…It all depends upon your appetite.
paulfraser
May. 29th, 2007 03:53 pm (UTC)
I should have included this:
Quite on topic about my choice INFN deal.
http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=39
(Anonymous)
Jun. 4th, 2007 06:55 am (UTC)
Mmm...pizza!
Hey Paul!

Just read your entry...you've made me hungry!!!

However, some of these pizzas sound strange - no pineapple? What do the Italians know about pizza?!!! Give me a pizza with pineapple any day!

Thanks for the warning about grappa. I've heard it's crap but thanks for confirming it for me!

The boys had a good time at Kev's concert. Kicked off Geoff's birthday celebrations quite nicely. He was pretty chuffed about going. Don't worry about missing his birthday - we'll still be celebrating when you get back!

The Coldstream Brewery will be up and running soon - good thing cause Mark's left face prints all over the front windows by peering in everytime he goes past!!!

He's very excited. He wants a job there.

He wants to get paid in beer.

I'd prefer money. Or jewelery. Or cosmetics.

Take care!

Love,

Allison
paulfraser
Jun. 7th, 2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Mmm...pizza!
There is going to be... a Coldstream Brewery?! This is the best thing ever. I entirely understand Mark's need to stick to the window like one of those lamprey eel things. I endorse this idea of a job at a brewery.

I'm glad the Kev night went well.

Love,
Paul
(Anonymous)
Jun. 4th, 2007 08:10 am (UTC)
Heyup. Richard here.
Hey nackers, Jodie gave me the blog address (which you in your typical style DIDN'T) so I thought I'd drop a typically crude message for yaz. And here it is:
HOW'S THE ICECREAM??
And yes, I am living vicariously through you loins. Er, hang on, that's a bit yuk...
Since you're an unstoppable prattler on the blogs, I've read most of the entries except for the last 10 or so as I got a bit bored after about the fifth Italia one and skipped to the current.
Drop me a line when you get a chance, I miss you man.
paulfraser
Jun. 7th, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Heyup. Richard here.
Ah. Bugger. Ya know, I can't complain that no-one reads this when I actually neglected to tell many people. Although, I did send a big old email. Maybe that was just to uni types. Oops.

Yeah, I wouldn't want to read all this pretentious prattle in one go either.

I miss you too mate. I'll give you a quick buzz soon, but not from my hotel. I just got the bill for the last 3 months. Jeeeeeezzzusssss. I didn't even make that many calls.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 5th, 2007 05:06 am (UTC)
showing your softer side
Yeah, i'm slack, i only read your last entry and then skipped to the photo's. I'm glad to see your getting a little pussy action. TJ has been eagerly awaiting your return, he has been sharpening his claws reqularly. I'll go and look at more photo's and wish i to could be looking at such sites.
Stacey
paulfraser
Jun. 7th, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
Re: showing your softer side
Umm I got pussy action? Dang, I must have slept through it. Oooh, you mean like literally. I understand now...
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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