The single most defining food experience of my life…

was not an expensive meal out at a fancy restaurant or some outlandish delicacy in an exotic country.

No, it was a span of three weeks at a country farmhouse just north of Rome.

I loved almost all the meals we had in Italy. Dining out in Italy is a delight. One to be savoured.

But  more impactful than all those amazing restaurant meals was the Italian home cooking we enjoyed while volunteering through HelpX. In that way, volunteering was priceless – truly an experience not to be bought. There, we had some of the best food we had in all of Italy – homemade, simple and free (well, in exchange for our labour, I suppose. If you want to get all technical about it).

fresh pasta lunch in italy

My tastebuds were introduced to the joy of tomatoes and string beans plucked straight from the vine only hours before. The simple indulgence afforded by a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a squirt of balsamic vinegar – a sunshower of cheese, on occasion. Baked eggplant. Grilled courgettes. Salmon swirled through spaghetti. Slippery cushions of ravioli, slick with flavourful goodness. Fresh bread to mop up the remaining oils and sauces. The wonder of burrata.

fresh pasta lunch in italy nzmuse

Italian food alone would have been worth the entire price tag of our trip. I’m only partly kidding.


16 thoughts on “The single most defining food experience of my life…

  1. Awesome food there, where about in Italy did you go other than north of Rome?

    Love the variety that we see on your blog NZ Muse

  2. I love your photos and your food descriptions. One of my most memorable food experiences also took place in Italy on a farm at my best friend’s wedding. Such wonderful memories. Looking forward to making it back there soon.

  3. I have to agree with you! Fresh vine rippened tomatoes are just the best thing on this earth. I’ve started replacing tinned toms with fresh and my recipes have benefited so much from the fresh juicy goodness. Seriously tasty!

    1. I still buy a lot of tinned tomatoes but not the cheaper brands – now I always look for tomatoes from the Hawkes Bay, or failing that, Italy (esp Roma…)

  4. OMG! The food, the magnificent FOOOOOD! Your photos are quite something to start the day with. 🙂

    We found some burrata at a Trader Joe’s. My son put it on a home-made pizza he concocted. Incredible.

    Dunno about him, but I’ve never found it here again.

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