Ciao tutti! This week went by quickly, and this weekend was amazing!
Monday was nice because I only had 1 class, so I spent the rest of the day making some mac and cheese to go with the sweet tea my mom brought me from home! It's not as good without real Cheddar cheese, but I made it work. Later that evening, Umbra hosted a Welcome Back Aperitivo and each of us got a free drink!
Tuesday night I had a pizza making workshop, where I went to L'Amore Per La Pizza. I made mine with black olives and sausage, and it brought me back to when I worked at Enzo's! I ate mine before taking a picture, so below is a picture of the one my classmate made lol.
Wednesday night we had a lecture given by Prof. Amy Trubek from the University of Vermont. We discussed the importance of "The Taste of Place", especially in the US and Italy. It was an engaging conversation, one that I will think about as I continue my studied in Italy.
During my Sustainability and Food Production in Italy class, we went to Nadir, a local restaurant that prides itself on its "0 kilometer" menu. We spoke with the owner and workers from the Fair Trade shop she works with, and we were served the best vegan chocolate cake I've ever had! Thursday night was spent at Osteria a Priori for my Anthropology of Food class. We dined on traditional Umbrian ingredients and dishes, and told our professor about the ins-and-outs of Prom in the US. She was completely fascinated by the concept, and even asked for everyone at the table to show her their Prom pictures!
Friday and Saturday were spent in Emilia-Romagna for a class overnight trip! Friday started early with a 7 AM bus to Parma, where we visited Salumificio la Perla, a local Proscuitto di Parma producer. We had a tour of the factory, then had a lovely lunch in their dining room. I bought a piece of Coppa, but we'll see if it makes it home! After the visit, we went to our hotel and had the rest of the day to ourselves. My friends and I walked around Parma, found gelato, and had a mini photo shoot on the river at sunset. We ate dinner, then walked back to the hotel to get some sleep before our busy day on Saturday.
Saturday was spent at the Consorzio Produttori Latte Parma, where we got to see the entire process from start to finish of making Parmigiano Reggiano. I am spoiled and will never eat parmesan cheese again (P.S. Parmesan cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano are not the same). I bought three chunks of cheese: 12, 24, and 36 months. Check out my Facebook page for videos!
After the cheese factory, we went to Acetaia Villa San Donnino in Modena to visit a balsamic vinegar producer. I realized my whole life was a lie, as I've never had REAL balsamic vinegar until now. The traditional vinegar is similar to the balsamic glazes sold in grocery stores: thick, sweet, and slightly acidic. I also discovered what may be my new favorite desert: gelato with balsamic vinegar! Trust me, it's life changing. I'll be bringing home two of their products, which are classified as "balsamic vinegar condiments" since they are not produced exactly like the traditional vinegar has to be, but still delicious.
After the vinegar, we ventured to the Disney World of food, FICO Eataly World. It's a giant amusement park thing filled with some of the best Italian food products I've ever seen. It's kind of overwhelming, but it was a cool experience. We had lunch then we were given a tour of the park. They have animals, like cows, of different breeds to show the importance of keeping these animals around. They have a vineyard, citrus garden, botanical garden, and about 9 million other things. I don't think you could truly see the whole park in a day. Around 4:30, we finally boarded the bus for the last time and drove 3 hours back to Perugia. After this trip, I went home, put my food in the fridge, and went to bed full and content.