Hi, Mysha! It’s good to have one our favorite gelatistas back in the States! How long were you in Italy all together? And where exactly did you stay?
I was in Italy for 4 months, felt more like 4 seconds! I lived in Ferrara. It’s a small town in the Emilia Romagna region. I lived in a beautiful with a lovely host family!
What surprised you the most about Italy?
Every day there was a new surprise. One thing that I never grew accustomed to was how ‘sensitive’ the Italians are to the weather! There were multiple times when my host family was SHOCKED that I was going out in ‘that weather!’, which was about 40 degrees Fahrenheit....a balmy day for a Michigander.
Tell us about the food. Favorite meal?
PASTICCIO. For my little host sister’s birthday, my host mom made this divine dish called pasticcio. It is somewhat of a macaroni casserole, but so much more...sweet and savory...rich but still delicate...The food that was the best was the PRODUCE. My host family only purchased what was in season in Italy, so everything was so fresh and full of flavor. I have never enjoyed plain tomatoes or experienced oranges with that much flavor!
And of course you have to tell us about the gelato. How does it compare?
To be honest, I personally think Nick’s homemade gelato is the best. Although I did have some unforgettable gelato while in Italy. The flavor nocciola (hazelnut), pistachio, and cioccolato fondente (dark chocolate) were my favorite flavors!
Okay, take us back...you’re walking down a beautiful street in Italy. What do you see and hear?
I would see about 3 dogs and hear another 3 in a dog fight. I swear every Italian in Ferrara had at least 2 (poorly trained dogs). Leather, leather, and more leather. Regardless of the time of day or temperature, men and women in leather pants and jackets was the norm. Other things I would see: Fancy little old ladies riding their bikes in fur coats and high heels, so many suave Italian men with the best facial hair and shoes, a bunch of people saying ‘mamma mia!’ (but actually).
Any weird, crazy Italy stories for us?
From my experience, Italians are superstitious. For example, my host mom told me that my host brother was sick because he went outside without socks on. Here is a list of examples of Italians being weirdos: If you have a fever you can’t take a shower because the hot water is bad for the feverish forehead. If you have a sore throat you MUST wear a scarf. You will get sick if you go out in the early morning fog. You have to dry your hair right away after a shower or your wet hair will make you sick!
Thanks, Mysha! Come back and visit anytime!