Experiencing new food in Italy on my SPC Study Abroad program

Italian food

During my trip in Italy, I of course explored the different ways Italians live, versus how Americans live. One thing I experienced was something we all must experience, to survive: food. My goodness, was it different. Some background: most countries, except for the United States, ban a lot of preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. Our food lasts longer, but is ultimately worse for us. Meanwhile, food in other countries use little to no chemicals to grow food. Overall, most of the food, if I could tell that there was a difference, tasted more natural and fresh.

Food is also served differently in Italy. Now, there is still the typical restaurant choice between getting waiter service, or taking food to go, but I was referring to the actual restaurants. The only chain restaurant that I noticed was McDonald’s, to no surprise. After all, McD’s is one of the richest fast food joints on the planet, so it would make sense. Anyway, the actual, non-chain restaurants all seem similar. As in, it takes further investigation to even find the names of some of these places. They all mainly say “PIZZA,” or “PASTA,” or “GELATO.” Interesting that none of it is in Italian.

Back to the food itself: I noticed a trend of lots of pizza and pasta, but there were also some meat options as well. I feel like a lot of the food, while it is what I expected from what we have in the United States, it was a lot better. The pizza felt like it wasn’t a huge glob of dough, but rather a delicate flat food, with plenty of sauce, and not loaded with cheese (my preference). Of course, there were more exotic options.

That in the photo (pardon the camera quality), is tripe, a food I’m so unfamiliar with I almost didn’t order it, because I had no idea there was a word for “cow stomach.” The texture is exactly what I expected: kind of squishy, felt like some dark meats I’ve tried. Thanks to the sauce, it tasted amazing. I would have eaten all of it if it wasn’t for the fact that there was two other courses along with it.

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