Going back a little bit about my trip there is something very interesting to be talked about. Food!
All my Brazilian friends told me the same thing when I was there: “Eat as much as you can!”, and I tried. I then told Italian friend who said this: “The way to eat proper Italian food is at an Italian’s home, because at the restaurants they change the dishes sometimes to suit the foreigners palate”.
Well, that is fine with me! I had already tasted my friend’s food when we met in Australia so I would have no problems with that.
Why is Italian food so amazing? That is very simple, people enjoy spending time making it.
I had different types of soup, pasta with different sauces, cheese, wine, all sorts of ham and salami, pastries, gelato and the entrees. They slice their bread, which by itself is already something, and put on the grill then serve with toppings of mushrooms, meat with this delicious sauce, something that reminded me of our local sardella somehow, ricotta and homemade chili jam. And this is just some I tasted in the week I spent there. On my last day my friend showed me his mother’s pantry, where she stocks this little food kind of thing that she sells.
I am afraid I can’t describe this sauces better, I asked them and because it was so common to them they wouldn’t even bother telling me what made it so special.
So the sauces were made by his mum and the mild chili jam by his girlfriend, and it was soooo delicious! When she told me what it was I did not expect to be any good, not a big chili fan, but now I love it.
It was pretty cold and I really wanted to try some gelato, I was in Italy I could not leave without trying the world’s famous gelato. So I had to convince my friend who kept saying “Winter is no time for ice cream”. What does that even mean? There is no such thing as time for ice cream, is ALWAYS time for ice cream. SO I found out he had a close friend who made and sold gelatos! So we finally went there and Oh My God, that is some serious ice cream! And the best part, I got to take a whole lot of ice cream back to the house, and my friend had quite a bit despite all the “no ice cream time” crap.
The other thing that they have and is so good and always so fresh is ham and salami. They have all this names, and the same type will be called something different around the world, and I don’t care, all I know is that I am not so fond of ham and salami but I am now. I thought I wasn’t going to like it (I don’t like the look of it) and I did, and I ate it until I could not fit any more, all that with some great cheese of course!
I could probably go on for hours on this topic, but let’s reach the pasta topic. I love the fact they make butter sauce, I used to make at home and had no idea this was a common practice, people in Brazil who saw me eating it thought it was very strange. And their carbonara is just perfect!
I don’t know about Australia, but here in Brazil, despite the considerable amount of Italians who migrated, we simply don’t know how to make proper carbonara. For some unknown reason we put cream on the sauce, why would you do that? Exactly, that is why the Italians are so much better. There was also the pasta with the wild rabbit sauce, I didn’t even know I could like so many kinds of meat, but it is worth trying.
Let’s not forget what they are best known for, pizza! Everyone’s favorite food. We have a friend who loves making pizza so I asked him to make some and he agreed, so my last meal in Sinalunga was at Davi’s, with the entire family speaking in Italian.
First of all, forget it, pizza does not have to be round. Yeap, I was pretty shocked too. He was so happy to finally be able to make me real Italian pizza with really fresh ingredients in his super pizza oven. I cannot believe I spent my entire life without having a proper pizza, seriously. Gorgonzola, Rockford, Parma, artichoke, caper, mushroom, mozzarella, salami… I wasn’t able to eat the base baked with olive oil with the fresh prosciutto.
If I had planned to eat so much great food I probably wouldn’t have. Olive oil and wine were also great companions in most of my meals.
I confess I don’t know many Italian restaurants in Australia but there are two really good one in Coogee beach, just in case you ended up a bit hungry. First my favorite, La Spiaggia, their sauces are the best and they started making take away pizza, and most of them with little Australian influence. My favorite dish is the pollo la spiaggia, and one think I love is that the chicken is always served with vegetables but they are never repeated and always perfect. There is also the veal ith prawns in a rose sauce, great choice too. I only tried their pasta last November, which was no disappointment.
The other option is the place across the street, Renato’s, go for the pasta, really good, they also have some sweet biscuits and dessert which you should give it a try.