Solving dinner in Italy
You go to Italy in part to eat -- so make your meals as much an event as any museum, Roman ruin, or vista. But even at dinner, make those calories count on your tastebuds:
- Beware the olive oil, my son, the bread that sops... Dipped in aromatic extra virgin olive oil, any bread tastes great -- but that oil is a hundred calories a tablespoon. So do not automatically slurp up the oil. Try a piece of plain bread; if it's not worth eating, let it lie.
- Beware the slurping wine and shun... Italian food is a long time coming. It's so tempting to sip merrily away on the wine. By the third course, you need another half bottle. Aside from its calories, the extra alcohol dulls your palate, and since wine is a depressant, too much will give you tristesse de vin (trust the French to have a name for it). Pace yourself.
- He took his water glass in hand... Spend the couple of bucks for the 1.5-liter bottle. Not only does it dilute the wine, it quenches your immediate thirst (so you'll drink less), temporarily deceives your stomach into thinking it's full (so you'll eat less), and sends you to the bathroom halfway through the meal (which both gives you a well-needed stretch and breaks the inertia of eating).
- There's nothing great to snicker-snack. In the main, Italian desserts are parochial and uninteresting. Tiramisu? Fuggedabahit.
Solving breakfast in Italy
Solving lunch in Italy
Copyright 2002 David Alexander Smith