My guests and I may be the travelers, but these folks are on the real journey. And while we're seduced by the romance of these old-world, artisan-centric stories, beneath the surface, there's an underlying reality that is bone-crushingly difficult.
Here are the words I never thought I'd utter: I think I will die if I eat another plate of pasta. Shocking and sacrilegious? Sure is. Heretical, really, since I consider pasta a religious experience. All those old adages about too much of a good thing? Well, they're true.
In the spirit of channeling my inner Anthony Bourdain, I invoke the "What Would Tony Do?" mantra more than once when planning my culinary anthropology expeditions to deepest, darkest Italy.
Flavia arrived one Sunday in July, sight unseen. Meaning, literally, we had never set eyes on her, nor spoken to her. As I waited for her outside of Customs at Logan Airport, I held up a handwritten sign that screamed 'FLAVIA' in giant red letters. Needless to say, she didn't miss me.