Beloved Pizza — NO MORE

Something STRANGE happened when I was in Italy.

I did not like the pizza!

I KNOW… How could that be?

I’ve ALWAYS enjoyed the Italian pizza, but this time. NOPE! In Florence, the pizza crust was terrible. Maybe it was meant to be a healthy version, don’t know, but it’s texture was like cardboard. I could barely eat it. This is a place I have frequented over the years, so it should have been delicious. My heart sank.

In Rome, the pizza crust was so thin it made the pizza soggy, I could barely eat it. Also, they had big chunks of mozzarella cheese on top. When I took a bite and tried to swallow, I thought I would choke. My daughter said the same thing happened to her when she was in Rome. She could not eat their mozzarella cheese. This has never happened before. Soooo… has the texture of mozzarella cheese changed?

I felt the SAME about the sandwiches. I used to LOVE and CRAVE salami, prosciutto, mortadella. It’s the BEST in Italy. We would have this with my grandmother at home at lunch. Put the bread on the table, cut slices and open all the different lunch meat packages, pick and choose what we wanted.

What sadness, really!

I had to think. Had the food changed or did COVID change my taste buds? I’ve never tested positive for COVID, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have it over the past 2 1/2 years. Was it the weather, high 90s, little interest in food?

Oh… it GETS WORSE!

I didn’t care for gelato either. My gosh, this is a major Italian taste bud issue, right! Who doesn’t enjoy a gelato. I did eat it, but I had no sense of this is so fantastic, like I did BEFORE COVID.

GOOD NEWS — Drinking a Fanta with ice cubes was enjoyable and my tastes buds were working. PHEW, so it wasn’t a COVID issue.

Oh, and my FAVORITE cookies — Atene, my grandmother would have these. My taste buds were GOOD. Thank goodness!! I would have been sad to have those memories taken away. Here is what they look like. They are a heavier type of cookie, good with coffee or tea.

I do think that the taste of food is changing around the world. They, whomever they are, keep trying to genetically enhance meat, fruit, vegetable products and more. There are constantly fraud issues with prosciutto. If you Google, you can read about it.

So — I’m hoping it was the extreme heat that changed my taste buds. I was happy that my daughter said she experienced the same feelings on her trip to Italy, so it wasn’t just “me.”

Soon we will all start having our own organic gardens, so we can trust our produce!

A BIG thank you for the “Dampfnudel recipe” from Austria

3983C00E-C08A-4ED6-ADA7-B9EB1BBCE61EI enjoy German / Austrian cooking, especially when Fall and Winter come as their recipes are nice and hearty comfort foods. Recently, I came across Karin’s Blog called, “The Austrian Dish.” What a lucky find, a site specific to Austrian recipes.

When I think of Austria, I remember the movie, “The Sound of Music.” Not long ago I was on a train going from Italy to Munich and sat next to some Canadian backpackers. They had just been in Salzburg and took “The Sound of Music tour,” which took them to all the movie locations. FABULOUS – they raved about it!

Now, back to “The Austrian Dish.” As I was going through Karin’s recipes, I started longing for a German recipe that a friend’s German mother would make on special occasions called, “Dampfnudel.” I put a request in with Karin for this recipe.

Well, I woke up this morning to see a post called, “Sweet Dampfnudel.” It was the recipe on her Blog. Dampfnudel, for those of you who have never heard of it, is a wonderful Bavarian yeast steamed dumpling that can be served savory or sweet. I have always had it as a dessert with vanilla sauce. Thank you Karin!!

History says a hungry Swedish army came to the town of Frakenfeld, Germany in the 1600s. They told the towns people that if they could feed their army a hot meal, they would not plunder the town. The head baker, Johanes Muck, saved the town by making 1286 Dampfnudels.

Guess what – last year the “The Great British Bake Off” had the contestants make dampfnudel. The Irish Mirror news site wrote an article, “Dampfnudels rule Great British Bake Off as viewers fall in love with the German treat.”

Wow — Dampfnudel went global!

The $100 Golden Donut

 

gold-donut-from-instagram

The $100 Golden Cristal Ube Donut at Manila Social Club. (MANILASOCIALCLUB VIA INSTAGRAM)

There is something comforting about donuts. We like them at work in the morning, on the weekend and who doesn’t remember after a College party wanting to stop for a donut on the way back to the dorms.

So, I knew my daughter was homesick when she said she was Googling donuts. While her Googling results did not find a place open in Ireland for late night delivery, she did come across the donut of all donuts. A golden donut, which costs $100 out of Brooklyn… and we both laughed with relief, because they do not ship Internationally yet!

In this Youtube video created by Barcroft TV, click here, you can see how Björn De La Cruz, executive-chef and co-owner at the Manila Social Club in Brooklyn, New York decided to create this luxurious eatable masterpiece.

I know… some of you are fainting, some of you are in an uproar saying your Dunkin’ Donuts at 99 cents is good enough and you would NEVER pay $100 for a donut, but before you write this off, consider that luxury and decadence comes at a cost. My daughter is into baking, so for her trying this donut would be “worth it” to find out WHAT a luxurious donut really tastes like. Now, we could be economical about this. Let’s say we ordered this golden donut to celebrate the New Year and we had 10 friends visiting. That would break down the individual cost of the donut to $10 each. Now, we’d have to be really accurate in cutting the donut into 10 individual bites, so we wouldn’t lose even one flake of gold. THEN we would make a toast and each eat our bite at the same time bringing in the New Year!  Eating gold on New Year’s Eve should indicate a prosperous New Year is ahead, YES?

So, I ask you… Is a golden donut worth $100?   What’s on your Bucket List?