This week is Italy week. From Tuesday, October 22 until Monday, October 28, I’ll post something from my recent trip to Italy.
Remember how I lost 40 lbs. over the course of eight and a half months? You know what was not part of the secret to my success?
Eating a whole pizza virtually every day for lunch with a half bottle of wine.
But as they say, when in Rome…
Since I hit my goal weight over two months ago, I have successfully remained at 185 lbs. It’s been incredibly rewarding keeping the weight off and serves, I think, as a testament to doing it slowly. If it takes that fucking long to lose it, it would seem only logical that it couldn’t come back that rapidly either. Unless you were eating like a completely untethered fuckhead for an extended period of time with blatant disregard (and possible hostility) for the amount of calories put into your body.
So, needless to say, when I approached my trip to Italy, I fully and deliberately planned to eat like a completely untethered fuckhead for an extended period of time with blatant disregard (and possible hostility) for the amount of calories put into my body.
Because why the hell not? How often do you realistically get to Europe? It’s rare enough to where you’re not going to sit down in a quaint little café and ask, “Um, excuse me, I’m a vain and pretentious American duckweed, and I have to ask: Is this buffalo mozzarella low fat?” Piss on that. Give me the damn cheese and pour me a glass of wine while you’re at it.
That’s what you do. You have your whole life to be a dipshit fussy American. Immerse yourself in the local cuisine, give up whatever goofy biases you have, and just dive the fuck in. I never much cared for white wine. One of the main reasons for that was because uptight PR people drink it in a very calculated way at social events. It’s not beer, which is too lowbrow. It’s not liquor, which can accelerate your drunk too quickly and might cause you to fail in terms of maximizing all the Important Connections at whatever the hell event this is. And it’s not red wine, which stains your teeth. It’s so measured, it makes me want to fucking vomit and find a new career.
But while walking around Italy, your feet need a drink break from time to time. You’re not going to be a fool and drink beer all the time. Nor are you in the mood to drink red wine when it’s warm out and you’re vaguely sweaty from all the walking. So white wine it is, and goddammit if it isn’t delightful. It’s crisp, just a tiny bit tart, and wonderful with a freshly baked pizza for lunch.
The other thing I realized that I found to be of exceptional importance was thinking about my love of microbrews. I love exploring my own city and others finding new beers and experiencing the joy of small batch craftsmanship. I wondered if that type of mentality would take hold in Italy and then… oh God you’re an idiot, they already have it, and have had it for fucking decades, if not centuries, and you’re fucking eating and drinking it right now, so hang yourself, you ugly American.
At every restaurant we went to, we ordered a bottle or a carafe of their house wine. And without fail, it was resplendent. I did not have a bad wine while I was there, and I couldn’t tell you a single one of their names. Not that it matters, those wines exist in those bistros and cafes, and those alone. People will continue to cycle through them, enjoying their incredible drinkability and deliciousness, and we’ll all be a little better for having had it. Everyone who drank one of these wines will remember how it felt vividly, yet know almost nothing about it. An experience both familiar and sort of unknowable. Awesome.
On our first night in Capri, Kristin and I broke off from the rest of the group to belatedly have an anniversary dinner together. Next to the quaint little Chiesa di S. Sofia sat a little ristorante. As it was Sunday night, foot traffic was a bit slow, so we sat on the patio with only two other couples.
We ordered a carafe of the house red. I had spaghetti with tomatoes, and Kristin ordered the gnocchi. They brought us bruschetta and a basket of bread. The spaghetti was excellent, but the gnocchi was among the best things either of us had ever tasted. The wine was amazing. Halfway around the world, this was the experience I chase frequently when going to local breweries, which I had recently with a Butter Pecan Brown Ale at Arvada Beer Company.
And while it exists now only as a memory in a corner of the earth I will likely never see again, it serves as a reminder that no matter if you’re in the gorgeous island of Capri, or spending some random evening in boring old suburb-of-Denver, Arvada, those experiences are always waiting for you.