Saturday, October 1, 2011
The best meal I ever had
Picture it: Florence, 2011. (Okay, so it doesn't have the same ring as when Sophia from Golden Girls says it, but I got stuck for an opener.)
I was on vacation in Italy with my mother. Before out trip, my mother had been worried I wouldn't get enough to eat in Italy. She even said she thought I might have to "forget about" being vegan while I was in Italy. Hellz to the no, mom!
But it wasn't always easy. The first place we visited, Venice, had plenty of vegan things to eat, though everything was ridiculously expensive. Next we went to Cinque Terre, a series of small towns on the Ligurian coast in Italy. As vegans know, finding non-animal foods in small towns can be a challenge. Whether this was the cause or whether it was just the style of food in this area, I did have trouble finding food. I lived on veggie sandwiches and plain pasta for 3 days. Thank god I took an online vega'ns advice and brought peanut butter with me! Otherwise I would have been starved for 3 meals a day instead of 2 and a half.
So the most delicious meal I ever ate was our first meal when we arrived in Florence. Taking our guide book's advice, we generally tried to find non-touristy places. Since we were usually in touristy areas, this was difficult. Especially because mom let me scan the menu and see if there anything I wanted before we went in. On arriving in Florence, we checked in to or hotel and walked down the street almost the first restaurant we saw had a ton of things I could eat. And I was so hungry! I didn't realized how hungry I was for real food, after three days of eating protein bars and instant shakes. I order three dishes, and let me tell you, I ate every single bite. My appetizer was olive tapenade; mom didn't get an appetizer but I don't think I shared with her. I also got white beans in love oil--I found this dish throughout Florence and sometimes beyond, so I think it's a typically "Tuscan" dish. Thank god for beans! I gobbled it up. And finally I had pasta with veggies. It had pasta with veggies throughout my visit, but after 2 solid courses before the pasta, I finally was full. Grazie!