Food lessons from Italy

When we left Codroipo, we headed west a few hours to Milan and remained there for about a week. We continued to eat our way around the famous sites of the city - if half the fun of vacation is seeing the sights, the other half clearly must be figuring out what your next meal is going to be.

Everything about eating here in Italy feels different. One of the things I love is that restaurants often put their menus or at least their specials out in front of the establishment. Instead of waiting to see the menu until after you've been seated, you get to decide before even going in. (Some places even put a sample meal where you can see it.)

This handwritten chalkboard menu drew us in to this fairly non-descript place and we were not disappointed. This was simple fare, nothing fancy, but it hit the spot.

This is the ravioli tartufo con burro fuso:

Treasure Coast fresh pasta
Otherwise known as ravioli in a melted truffle butter - delicious!

And here is the tortellini pomodoro:

Treasure Coast fresh pasta
Can you guess that pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato?

Was this an elegant, life-altering dining experience? No, but it wasn't meant to be. What made it memorable was how superior this version of Italian fast food is to the American equivalent. This is one of the many ways Italian eating is entirely different from ours in the States.

Another way it's different is the ubiquitous nature of fresh, homemade food. I may have been on the hunt for other makers of fresh pasta, but it certainly wasn't difficult to find them. We had a wonderful experience at Platina, a restaurant that bills itself as a "factory" but is nothing like any factory you've ever seen.

In their beautiful kitchen - visible from the street to passers-by - they make a variety of handmade pastas every morning which are then available in their restaurant later that same day.

Here is their phenomenal turmeric pasta with clams, mussels, and tomatoes. Just delightful.

And look at this gorgeous display of fresh pasta! All of it is made from 100% Italian ingredients and also available to take away and cook at home.

Italians love their food and take such pride in all aspects of it - creation, quality, display, freshness, and sharing with others. We could learn a thing or two from them!

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