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Category Archive for 'culture'

Several years ago, on a trip to northern Spain I found myself in the small town of Santillana del Mar in the region of Cantabria on a cold and rainy night. Outside the hotel, a herd of dismal-looking goats shivered together in the lee of a thorn bush as it got dark, and all I […]

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When we were in Florence this past July we had one of the most memorable meals of our life. The simplicity of the dishes, the gruff, “don’t ask too many questions cause everything is good here” service and the down-home ambiance (mama in the corner, the owner is the host, the server and one of […]

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When we were in Italy this June for our wedding/honeymoon we not only ate well, drank too well and gained weight, but we took many food risks. The best nights of food seemed to be the nights when the menus were only in Italian and we forgot our little translation book back at the B&B. […]

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It’s often said that Italians are passionate about their food, and this is borne out by today’s “pasta strike” across the country. Where else would an entire nation call and observe a strike to protest the rising prices of their national dish? Reported in the Guardian (UK), Italians are coming out in sympathy with their […]

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What is it about coffee in Europe that makes it taste so good? Why do so many people love Dunkin’ Donuts coffee when it quite obviously tastes (and looks) like gnat’s piss? And why, indeed, do people feel the need to drink a pint of coffee in one go? More to the point, how can […]

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Lunch is a tricky time for me and, I’m sure, many Americans, who enjoy good food, in a way that it isn’t for most Europeans, or at least, most southern Europeans. There is no place in American life for the leisurely two-hour, weekday lunch that many French, Italians and Spanish enjoy several times a week. […]

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Upon returning home from our recent wedding in Italy, our guests, like us, probably felt the bump of landing in several places – the legs and spine (from airplane travel) and the wallet (from the careless assumption that a euro is only worth a little more than a dollar). We also felt that bump in […]

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Ahead of our recent wedding in Italy, I penned this blog post because I wanted to write about Italian potables other than wine in the expectation that after a week of chianti, our wedding guests would be ready for something different. As it turned out, many became worryingly wine-dependent over the course of their stay […]

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