In the meantime…

During my last days in Florence, my dear camera met an untimely end. Well, no, I’m sure it lives on in the life of whatever lucky bastard found it at the bar where I lost it, but things between the camera and me definitely ended that night. Fittingly enough, it was my going away party. Goodbye, Florence. Goodbye, camera.

Antico Noe’s #4

Fast forward to three months later, and I still haven’t replaced it. And seeing as how having a camera with which to take pictures with and then post on this very blog is crucial, I have nothing new to offer on this new blog of mine.

That being said, I’m recycling something I previously wrote and posting it here. Just until I get a new camera, which should be soon, I’ve promised myself.

This first piece is something I wrote while still living in Florence, for my roommate’s website about student life in the city. I then reused it for a writing contest my sister told me about and it came in 26th place (which makes me wonder how many entries there were). Regardless, you might find it entertaining if you want to know more about  secret bakeries.

The second piece is something I wrote for the same writing contest. It’s a guide to panini in Florence. It came in at the very unimpressive 63rd place in the contest, but hey, I had fun writing it. If for no other reason than reminiscing about sandwiches in Florence.

I’m a good fork. Or so I’ve been told.

“O Angie, sei proprio una buona forchetta,” says Rita, with a slight snicker as she nibbles on a piece of bread.

Empty fork frozen mid-air, chipmunk-like full cheeks, one eyebrow raised, I stare up at her.

“Huh?” I’m a good fork? The hell does that mean?

I look at my boyfriend, the only other English speaker at a table full of Italians.

“It means you’re a good eater,” he says with a smile, and a look that says, “Be nice, Angie. It’s just a joke.”

The fork clinks against the plate as I drop it and hastily swallow my mouthful. I look at Rita, who’s still smiling at this new Italian idiom she’s taught me.  She, like many of my other Italian girlfriends in Florence, is tiny. Although she was born, raised and still lives in the paradise of carbs we call Italy, she maintains a flat stomach, toned arms and not so much as a hint of a cellulite dimple.  She’s also not anorexic or bulimic. She’s just Italian.

Hours later, we finish dinner at  The Crazy Train, a no-frills restaurant (with a dumb name) on a dark road between Florence and Empoli. Cigarettes are smoked (by the Italians of course), goodbyes and double kisses are passed out in rounds.

Dinner was ok, but after being told I was a buona forchetta, I just couldn’t enjoy my food with the same zest.

“I mean, what does that really mean?” I rant in the car, as my non-confrontational boyfriend drives quietly back to Florence. “Was she saying I’m fat? Is that what it is, I’m the fat American? You guys all think I’m a Mcdonald’s loving fatty, huh?”

We ride back in silence as I stew in my resentment.

Days later I think about the incident, and decide to Google the phrase. Translation sites, language message boards, and dictionaries all tell me more or less the same thing. Una buona forchetta: someone who enjoys eating, and does so with gusto; a foodie, gourmand.

Hmmm. A gourmand, huh? Well that’s not so bad. Sounds kinda fancy.

I read more, and before I know it I’ve gone off on an internet tangent and find myself reading recipes, online restaurant reviews and local food blogs.

Eating, it's what I do.

And that’s when I realize: I really am a buona forchetta.  Who was I kidding feeling so indignant? I love to eat. And anyone who’s ever eaten with me or heard me describe a meal afterwards, knows I do so with passion.

And so from that now-favorite idiom of mine, I’ve made this blog, a place for me to write about food. Usually not anything that I myself have made, because while I love to eat, I was not gifted with the same enthusiasm for the process of preparing food, but instead a place to write about meals had, snacks shared and new places discovered. Living in Manhattan after two years in Italy, I figure I have plenty to work with here.

That being said, I hope you’ll come back and see what I’ve been grubbing on and where my gluttonous adventures take me. Buon appetito!