Thursday, May 24, 2012

Things I've embraced about American cuisine

As some of you might know, I'm from Italy but I moved to Philadelphia (U.S.A.) three years ago.

When I moved here I had already lived by myself for 4 years, so I knew how to shop, how to cook and how to save money.
Doing it in a different country though was really difficult. Labels are misleading and not everything that says "NATURAL" is actually natural.

I would say it took me about 2 years to start understanding where to find good produce.I had to discovered farmers markets, asian grocery stores and even online italian markets to finally have my dishes taste authentic again.

As much as I dislike the fact that the Food and Drugs Administration allows certain ingredients and certain processed food that in Italy would never be allowed (see the whole pink slime scandal, the aspartame in diet drinks, high fructose corn syrup even in BREAD and many other examples that I will not mention now), there are aspects of the american culture that I have embraced.

1. Easy lunch: soup and small sandwich/salad and small sandwich.
It ends up being a balanced meal if you make the soup or salad yourself, if you eat your vegetables without strange fatty dressing, if you don't choke your sandwich with mayo and ketchup and if you don't drink soda with it. Close the meal with a fruit and you have the perfect lunch!

2. Sunday brunch.
It's just so much fun and I love having sweet and savory food on the table all at the same time! To make sure that I don't over eat I serve a lot of fruit to go with the waffles/pancakes/french toasts.

3. Pies
Oh my, when they are homemade they are the most amazing dessert I've ever had. Plus it reminds me of Disney cartoons!  My favorite is KeyLime Pie, but in the winter also Apple Pie, Apple Crumble, Blueberry Pie, Peach Pie. Mmmmm. Pie...

4. Meat Seasoning
Americans cook their meat the best. Italian barbecue always consists in burned tough meat. Americans know how to cut it, how to season it and how to cook it better then anybody else. I've learned a lot from them.

5. Hamburgers and fries.
With moderation, awesome combination. Always make sure that the ground beef you're making them with is fresh. Good ground beef should be an intense dark red when raw.  Not pink and definitely not brown. Video Tutorial on how to make crunchy fries at home coming soon...!

What's your favorite part of american cuisine? And what's your least favorite?

Have a great day everybody!
Valentina
Real Italian Kitchen 



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