Just in case you didn’t know (and somehow my proud husband has not found you and told you yet), for the past three months I have been living in Italy attending the University of Gastronomic Sciences to earn a Masters in Food, Culture and Communication. This is my first time living overseas and the longest stint that my husband and I have been apart. It has been one hell of a three months! I have had classes in Food Writing, Sensory Analysis, Food Anthropology, Wine Technologies, Sustainable Agriculture and the Art of Oral History. I have read articles ranging from anthropological studies on the Japanese Bento Box to scientific journals on the Bitter Genetic Taste Variation. I have traveled to Val D’Aosta for my first study trip, Genoa for a Slow Fish Conference, to Denmark for my second study trip, to Torino to sight see with my parents, and to countless small towns along the way. I have bonded quickly and fiercely with classmates as 24 of us are in this journey together. I have cried. I have laughed. And I have eaten….lots. There are many lessons I have learned about myself, life, and this crazy world we call gastronomy. Among other blog posts, here are some of the most recent lessons I have learned:
1. Three months is not long enough to figure out Italian Cell Phone Plans.
2. It is the rainiest season Italy has seen for 200 years…crap.
3. 26 people can successfully ride bikes around Copenhagen while hearing only small amounts of Danish curse words.
4. Canning was established in 1809 and the can opener was first patented in 1858….???
5. Fernet (Amaro) was the only liquor allowed during prohibition. It’s bitter flavor made it considered to be a medicine. This fact makes me feel better about my new favorite digestif…it’s medicine right?
6. No matter what age you are, college still means filling a backpack with liquor and riding a bike to a pool party.
7. It is still not a good idea to hang clothes off of a three-story balcony while intoxicated.
8. Thank you Italy for spreading the use of a fork…beside my fingers it is my favorite eating utensil.
9. Peanut Butter is not the same in Europe…deal with it.
10. Communication is a vital skill for change and it encompasses way more than words.
11. Even if you find the 84-year-old butcher, he is not open on Monday, in fact no butchers are open on Monday in Bra. So eat meat on Tuesday.
12. Worldwide we produce enough food for 12 billion people. There are 7 billion people in this world. 1 billion don’t get enough food. You do the math.
13. 50% of food we produce ends up in the waste bin.
14. Change and social awareness starts on an individual level.
15. But most of all…Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.