Buon Appetito! A Kevin's Summer Abroad Snapshot: The FOOD

Ciao, Azuka followers! What did you have to eat so far today? Is it the evening, and you've finished up your last meal? Personally, I'd prefer to read the Azuka blog over breakfast, sipping coffee and shuffling my laptop as if I'm straightening the morning paper. "You hear about this Kevin Glaccum's trip to Europe?" I ask my wife, who, along with me, is in black and white. "What's that?" my wife asks. "Honey, what's that device you're holding?" I shuffle my laptop so hard that it flies out of my hands and smashes against the wall. Cue a laugh track. Reality fractures.

As promised, this week I share a brief glimpse into Kevin's take on the food at LaMaMa. If you don't know what LaMaMa is, check out the last few blog posts. Kevin -- what did you have to eat today?

"Okay, let's talk about the most important part of any trip to Italy: The Food!

A sampling of a LaMaMa miracle

A sampling of a LaMaMa miracle

At LaMaMa we have all of our meals together. There’s a sort of breakfast buffet of cereal, fruit, yogurt, etc. However, lunch and dinner are made every day by a miracle worker named Alisia. Both meals are for between 20-25 people since the LaMaMa Umbria Family consists of the directors taking the symposium, the visiting teachers, staff, and a whole crew of guys who do everything from drive us around, to actual physical work that needs to be done around the place, to even serving as the closing night party’s DJ! 

Okay, so that’s two meals a day for that many people and SHE NEVER MADE THE SAME THING TWICE! I’ve eaten some of the best food of my entire life while here, that’s for certain. I don’t know if it’s because the food is so fresh, or if it’s how she prepares it but I don’t think there was a single meal that I didn’t go back for seconds. 

The miracle worker herself, Alisia

The miracle worker herself, Alisia

In the Italian tradition, pasta is served with both of those meals as a first dish, then the food ranged from delicately fried fish, to lentil soup to the best chicken salad I’ve ever had in my life, to wild boar stew, and on and on. The sides were fried zucchini flowers, tomatoes stuffed with tuna -- and one day we had a variety of pizza, all cooked in a 500 year-old wood burning stove. It was unbelievable. Luckily, there’s a great deal of walking done here, and two of the teachers had a significant amount of physical work involved in their workshops or I’d be in a LOT of trouble! 

The food at LaMaMa has become so legendary over the years that Alisia was convinced to make a cook book…and I bought one. If you’re lucky, maybe I’ll invite you over for a LaMaMa meal! Buon Appetito!"

Thanks, Kevin! Me and my grainy sepia wife would love to join you for dinner. Honestly, though, the rest of us at Azuka are jealous. It's good to see you're taking advantage of everything another country has to offer. I can also see now why you made fun of me for getting chicken tenders at Applebee's. I have a feeling you appreciate a fairly wider palette than I do.

Readers -- have you ever visited a foreign country, and if so, what's the best foreign cuisine you've eaten on its native soil? As always, check back for further updates. Later this week, hear about the LaMaMa playwriting workshop -- and after that, new terrain entirely: the Edinburgh Festival Fringe!

- Lucas