Saturday, October 06, 2007

Cultural Repartee

Inspired by Cyndi's recent post, I decided to open the topic of meat in pasta with my Italian. In response to my telling him about her post, he laughed and said:

"Nope, only in ragu. I would've probably done the same thing."

Me: "Why is that? What is the big deal?"

Him: "Maybe it's because the chicken covers the taste of the pasta. The pasta doesn't taste like pasta, the chicken doesn't taste like chicken."

Me: "But together they make a new taste which while different, can be just as delicious."

Him: "It's like putting the chicken and pasta in a blender, puree-ing it, and eating it. The tastes all cover each other up."

Me: " Oh please, part of eating is enjoying textures, you wouldn't blend it! and plus, you CAN taste each thing separately when you eat them together. There are layers of tastes. I thought you Italians were culturally adventurous! One of the best ways to understand culture is to understand the food."

Him: "We are adventurous with food. We like to go to Asian restaurants, Mexican (in Italy?), etc. but when we go, we know we are going to eat those particular tastes. When we eat pasta we like it in particular ways. I know people who take their own pasta when going away for an extended amount of time in case they can't get what the like there."

Me: " Ya'll are food snobs. lol I don't understand but thats ok, I like Italian Italian food."

Him: " We are a bit of snobs. We don't like interpretations of our food!"

AHA - that is the crux of it all. It all dwindles down to that one sentence - "we don't like interpretations of our food". Yep, it should be as Mamma makes it and no other way. hehehe

Works for me because Mamma makes it GOOD.

More later...


KC said...

:::Feeling my ears burning:::

I have this feeling that Cyndi's wasn't the only one discussed. I bet my "interpretation recipe" was talked about too-- Don't you deny it!!! ;o)

J.Doe said...

Italians are food snobs. Many of them won't even try Asian or Mexican (or even Americanized Italian) cuisines because they are 100 percent sure,without even trying, that those cusines are horrible and Italian Italian cusine is the best.
This attitude bothers me.
Taste the food first before you decide whether it's gross!

Stelle in Italia said...

I agree about the food-snob thing. When I have mexican dinners, people are pretty scared to sit down and eat *gasp* an enchilada. I have to explain that it's kind of like cannelloni :). And burritos are more exciting versions of piadine. ;)

And what's this about pureeing the chicken? :) how is that ANYTHING like eating chicken fettuccine alfredo? I need to have this talk with my Italian husband as well...


KC said...

My husband would agree with everything your Italian says!

He is open to different cuisines, but when it comes to Italian food, the rules must be followed! We once ate once in an Italian restaurant in the U.S. and he ordered a dish that had a huge piece of beef on top of the pasta. He picked up the beef with his fork and set it at the edge of plate and ate all the pasta first. It was early in our relationship and I found it endearing. Now I wish he'd be willing to bend the rules every now and then!

rowena said...

Love it! I don't know what my husband would say, as I've don't cook much american-italian dishes here. Mind you, not that I wouldn't want to, but I'm already overwhelmed with learning about the real italian food here... ;-)

However I do give my husband credit for being adventurous and turning off the "snob button" every once in awhile. I made a banana/pancetta pizza from another blog one night and he actually agreed to taste it! The verdict? He gave the wild concoction a thumbs up, but said the next time there should be more mozzarella di bufala on top. Ha!

Linda said...

I thought my husband was an adventurous eater because he's French and you know the weird things the French eat but now, years later, I think I'm the adventurous one. Sure, he eat snails, brain, things like that but won't touch a tuna fish sandwich because it is "too wet" and hates tropical fruit. I have to say that he loves the Thanksgiving dinner I cook, though.

Katia said...

What a brilliant commentary. You could also replace "Italian" with "French" in every phrase and it would perfectly describe my own experiences in France with the French and their food ;)

Cynthia Rae said...

Oh you guys make me laugh! I will have to show this post to Danilo. I am sure my Italian will agree 100% with your Italian!

You ever want meat with your pasta when you are Italy, you know where you can find it. My home is just a train ride away!