From America to Italy in 15 minutes

Well kind of. My friend and I went to the local university where the Hotel and Restaurant Management students had to cook a meal and people could come in and grade their presentations, service, and of course, the meal itself. The theme of the day was Pasta Palooza, meaning that approximately for an hour we traveled to Italy to get lost in some delicious pasta meal, occasionally some desserts and drinks…

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I have been watching some cooking shows lately, for example the Great British Baking Show and the Worst Cooks of America. One is great for learning, the other is great for confidence boost-ing. I trust you will know which is which. (But putting the joke aside, the Worst Cooks in America is great for learning too, because you learn with the contestants along the way). Also, you learn how to judge food, what to look for and how to be super-duper (wow, I have never said or wrote this word before) picky about every little darn detail that you never even realized mattered before. I went to the tasting today with such high hopes for my newly acquired talent of judging food and people to the fullest and I am not gonna lie, when I left I was pretty disappointed in myself. My unconditional love for food over powered the newly graduated food-judge inside of me and no matter what I tasted, I was just happy. I didn’t need much. I just needed food…which kind of sums up my entire life.

My friend said it right: You have to judge them a little bit, so they can get better and improve, but to me all the food was delicious.

When we arrived we signed in and received 8 separate grading cards (for all 8 student tables) and an Italian “passport”. Each table represented a different city and when we tried their food, we got a food stamp in our passport, representing our little travels through the country…and maybe the fact that they were scared of us getting seconds 😀 Well whatever it was, focusing on the big picture, I think the idea is so darn cute that it makes me wanna squeeze the person who came up with it.

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First Stop: ROME

Rome was waiting for us with a wonderfully decorated table, big smiles and some delicious arrabiatta reginette with burrata and basil. Don’t worry, I have no idea what those words are either. I know “basil” and the word “with” and that is all, but it was ‘lecious and it had some cream cheese topping on it that was also very yummy and creamy (hence cream cheese…wow, I am such a great food critique) We got cream soda with the meal, it was pink, very creamy and super sweet. That was not my favorite, I just can’t get used to cream sodas…

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After Rome we went to SOUTH TIROL

Soccer themed table was pretty busy when we got there, and since they made the food right in front of us, nice and fresh, we had to wait a little bit.

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The place was bumping, everybody wanted free food and felt like judging students. Dangerous combination.

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The only thing I kind of found weird here was the bowl they gave us, since the amounts were tiny, it kind of looked weird to hold on to a giant bowl but honestly who cares? Really! Bacon!!!!

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Leaving South Tirol we ended up in CAPRI

The beach themed table hit close to my heart. I love to be on the beach in the morning and watch the sun rise while sitting in quiet, looking at the water and thinking without any distractions. It is the BEST. Even though, I talked to a friend about this before, but the ocean and that huge amount of water, kind of scare the heck out of me, I am still glued to the view and the sound of the waves. Please notice all the blue cream soda on the table with whipped cream I am guessing…I didn’t even risk getting one.

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In Capri we got some pesto gnocchi caprese salad. My only problem with this one was, that I inhaled it in 2 seconds…wish I could have grabbed seconds…so good! I just love gnocchi so so much! ♥

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After Capri we visited the famous vineyards of TUSCANY

We were hoping to get some wine out of the deal, but then realized that it is 1 pm and we are on a university campus and this is a class… Here the students prepared some bite sized garlic bread and parmesan pesto tortellini that were actually pretty refreshing to eat. It was a nice little change.

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The cold apple cider drink felt great!

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Next stop: LAZIO

Lazio was mine themed in respect of all the men who have been grinding their butt off in the mines. Their ladies used to wait for them to get home with a delicious bowl of pasta carbonara with pancetta. The table decoration itself deserves an A.

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What a pretty presentation…

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From the mines to MOLISE

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Chitarra lamb and sweet pepper ragu from the southern Italian region…and here we also got some delicious pie that unfortunately, I forgot what it was but it was AMAZING!

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This is how they cut the pasta into such perfect stripes

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Leaving Molise we stopped by another ROME
(I understand how this can be confusing)

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Fettuccini with classic alfredo sauce which was apparently made to ease Alfredo di Lelio’s wife’s morning sicknesses during her pregnancy.
At this point of the visit the buttons on my pants were begging to get some outside help to hold my pants together and we still had 1 other table to visit…

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For dessert we got some peach and strawberry

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Last but not least we finally arrived to NAPLES
(I’ll make him a lasagna he can’t refuse!”)

The Godfather himself welcomed us to the family while he put down the cat face stamp on our made up passport.

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The gigantic amount of lasagna did not help my pants situation but how could I go against the Godfather and say no thank you…?!

We got vegetable lasagna rollups with stuffed mushrooms on top. Damn.
They served plain soda water with the meal, and I have to admit they got it right. That is exactly what we needed after so much food.

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We collected all of our stamps in our passport so we were ready to get back to reality again, even though it was hard to walk after.

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  1. What is your favorite Italian meal?
  2. Which table did you like the most?
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