What is the Italian way of eating? Well, there is no fixed menu that I could describe right now. Especially, because every region (sometimes even every city) in Italy has a different cuisine. If you ask me, there is no Italian way of eating. However, what we do know, is that a lot of Italians (but certainly not all of them) stick to a version of the mediterranean diet… and that they have a small breakfast. Therefore, the day of eating that I will be describing below is not strictly the typical Italian way of eating for everyone, however, I will certainly be describing commonly used dishes of Italy (at least in some regions).

Breakfast: Now, I used to be a breakfast fanatic (and in some way I still am), but because we have dinner relatively late, compared to what I was used to in the Netherlands, and we have a nice amount of food at dinner, I’m less in the mood for food in the morning. Although, I still like to have my oatmeal breakfast a couple of times a week. But especially in the weekends I tend to go for some toast with marmelade (with or without butter) and of course a cup of coffee. I’m incredibly lucky (and incredibly aware that my boyfriend will be reading this post as well) that often on a Saturday or Sunday morning my boyfriend will have already prepared some toast for me. Believe me, it’s nice to wake up to the smell of coffee and marmelade.

(Breakfast: toast and marmelade)

Lunch: Since we have lunch at home (also often during the week), I prepare a warm meal for us, which always includes vegetables and in autumn and winter they will be mostly represented in a soup. For example, the grated carrot as a side dish and the bean soup as a main dish. What we like to add to this is a little bit of bread (to dip into the soup) and a couple of chunks of cheese as a very small antipasto. Sometimes after lunch, when we’re still hungry, we’ll have a piece of fruit. If not, we’ll have a piece of fruit as a snack later in the afternoon. We also have to end with a coffee to make digestion just a tad easier. Of course, this goes without saying, there is no milk to be found in the coffee. This is a very strict rule and separates you quite distinctly from tourists.

Dinner: Usually, we cannot finish everything at lunch, so we leave something for dinner, which, on this day, is a little bit of bean soup. We add tomato risotto and some cauliflower frittata and together with a good glass of red wine the dinner is almost complete, but for one delicious thing: the Christmas treat, a.k.a. the Panettone. You can get them in all sizes and with many different ingredients, but this delicious cake should at least be a very fluffy, lighter-than-air, sweetbread. Often it has raisins and candied fruit inside, but this can easily be swapped for chocolate or a sort of pistachio cream. These days, whatever you fancy, they’ll have it.

(Dinner: as a dessert a piece of panettone)

As you can imagine, I’m always satisfied after a day of eating like this. I have to say, the “Italian” way of eating suits me.

From Italy with love,

Merel