Once you cross the border......
Posted 18 November 2004 - 08:48 AM
Posted 20 November 2004 - 03:13 PM
Have you ever noticed that Italians, in Italy, identify themselves as from the city where they're from. They only call themselves Italians when they leave the country. I think that, once across the boarder, Italian restaurants serve the food that their clients expect and think of as Italian, either pan-Italian (not regional) or creative cooking with Italian ingredients. Not what the Italians actually ate at home. But regional cooking is getting more respect and I think that many restaurants, like Beppe and San Domenico in New York, serve some genuine, traditional Italian dishes.
PS They guys from Baia Beniamin once snuck me across the boarder, I was without my passport, to visit a great market in Menton. Loved the experience.
Faith, I once raised the phenomenon in a post that as soon as you leave Italy, the cuisine of Italian restaurants changes markedly and for the worse. An interesting instance is near my house in Nice. As soon as you cross the border into Ventimiglia, you have really good Ligurian food at Ristorante Balzi Rossi, which is about 50 yards from the border. In Nice, however, there are two ambitious restaurants, L’Allegro and Auberge de Theo that serve Italian food that is indistinguishable from some Italian restaurants in New York. Do you have a notion (if you agree with me) as to why this is? Is it the loss of regionality; some appeal to what the owners think foreigners want in “Italian” food; and inability to obtain certain products and freshness of products, to name a few reasons ?