The Jersey Kid has resurfaced, sending along a new post regarding his anniversary trip to Italy. One of my favorite aspects of this particular write up is that it touches on the childhood food trauma idea I wrote about a couple of weeks ago (We shall overcome!). Enjoy the reminiscings of Sorrento and the Isle of Capri.
Why did it take me so long to write again about my food experiences in Italy? Beautiful scenery. Tremendous food. My wife of 20 years (don’t I have to include that?). Wine, and my daily limoncello intake could have been responsible. But really, who feels like typing on an iPad when you have all these other options to keep you occupied?
My last post mentioned that I would likely be biased towards positive experiences in Italy, especially considering the circumstances and the location. Why anyone would want to walk in to a situation not open-minded enough to expect positive experiences is beyond me. In doing so, would one really be having an experience, or just another in a series of food experiments, designed to chart sensory reactions? I suppose I need to provide examples. Ok, here goes…
The restaurant in Sorrento, Italy was right over the water. Not on the water. Over the water (the restaurant was on a pier). My wife and I had peppered mussels (not from P.E.I) while watching the sun go down over the Bay of Naples. I am smiling as I type this up. Why? The food was ok and in fact, I don’t really remember the name of the restaurant. But, the view and location: tremendous. The experience: wonderful. The chance that would have been the case had I walked in the door focusing just on food rather than the whole experience is minimal.
The Isle of Capri
We ate lunch at a wonderful restaurant, Edode. This was recommended to us by our waiter at another restaurant in Sorrento. He gave us the name of his friend, a fellow waiter, at Edode. We arrived, were seated by the window to people watch (always good for experiences!) and we mentioned that they came recommended and that we wanted to meet Tonino. Please start the experience meter. We explained to Tonino what we were in the mood for and asked for recommendations.
A digression: when I was young, my mother scarred me emotionally with eggplant. She accomplished this by serving some type of baked, cubed eggplant thing with croutons. It was quite simply, the worst tasting thing in the world. I would beg my father to say he didn’t like it so we wouldn’t have it again. I was made to sit at the kitchen table until I finished every bite. There was no chicken finger option in my house growing up. This meal was so bad that I have steadfastly refused to eat eggplant since those troubling meals. In fact, I once was served eggplant parm and, thinking it was chicken parm (I never claimed to be bright), loved it! As I dug in, the hostess asked how I liked her eggplant parm? Just hearing that it was eggplant started the gag reflex. Excuse me while I suck my thumb and rock back and forth for a bit…
Why am I boring you with that sordid tale of abuse by eggplant? Tonino started us off with, yup, you guessed it, eggplant. It… was… delightful! Eggplant thinly sliced layered with buffalo mozzarella and freshly crushed tomatoes. Wow! Is THIS how eggplant should taste? My wife, after I had to pick her up off of the floor from the shock of my pleasure, was giddy knowing that eggplant could be placed back on the menu at our house. With one bite, the strong memory of my childhood was replaced. Food can do that. We remember the awful meals, and the wonderful ones. We can recall the smells and tastes for years. As more years go by, the tastes we remember become stronger, for good or bad, depending on the experience. That eggplant on Capri tastes better every day.
– Jersey Kid
The Jersey Kid has a few more awesome experiences to share, so keep an eye out. More coming soon!