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).
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.
Italian food alone would have been worth the entire price tag of our trip. I’m only partly kidding.
[…] The single most defining food experience of my life… […]
Yum, your words were equally enticing as your pictures!! Sounds so delicious!!
Oh, I felt hungry when I looked at your food pictures. I love Italian foods too!
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
Italian food is my absolute favorite and I definitely hope to go to Italy some day. These two pics alone are making me want to book a trip!
Cool story… you sound like you have had some great experiences in life! 🙂
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.
Mmmm looks delicious. Have you been cooking Italian since you got home?
Yep for sure! Italian and Mexican.
That looks amazing. I’m lucky enough that my father in law loves Italian cooking (even spent a week over there learning) but I’m still looking forward to trying the real thing, so to speak.
I love this story and have always wondered about these types of programs. I can’t wait to go on one!!
Wow, your descriptions of the food really put it right there in my mouth. Well, almost… now I’m super hungry!
[…] NZ Muse’s single most defining food experience (of her LIFE!) was when she was in Italy. Oh, What wouldn’t I do for a trip to the […]
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!
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…)
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.