Thanks for the replies! For a newbie thread, this is quite a lot of activity.
Originally Posted by CraigC
Italy is also known for polenta and risotto, which have many regional variations. Its hard to get away from pasta though in Italy.
I love risotto! How could I not mention that? Geez.
Polenta is also a favorite of mine. Here in the south, they say it's "food from the north" or something like that. I like it both cooked (with passata) and fried (with as many sauces as you can imagine).
Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef
Just because you are living in Sicily doesn't mean you have to eat Italian food, although there are many regional dishes in Italy that don't require macaroni.
I live in the United States, but I don't just eat American food, whatever that is. Because our population is so diverse, our food supply is also diverse, in both restaurants and grocery stores. I dine in ethic restaurants featuring a variety of foods from all over the world, and also cook Italian food, Mexican food, Chinese food, Korean food, Pilipino food, German food, Austrian food, Polish food, Ukrainian food, Spanish food, French food, and Swiss cheese!
Access to exotic ingredients around here can become expensive very quickly. And I am talking about simple stuff, such as miso, soy sauce, black beans, manioc flour, decent bacon (instead of pancetta), and so on.
Ethnic restaurants are not that common in this area, plus they are not that good, to be honest. In Sicily, it's hard to find even a decent steak restaurant. Everything is pasta, the same 3-4 vegetables, and seafood. While I respect their creativity in how many different ways they will combine those same ingredients, I was born and raised in a city that has similar diversity to what you listed above.
I love Chinese food, too. And my Sunday breakfast is American pancakes + maple syrup + bacon.
Speaking of ethnic food, this summer I made friends with an elderly couple (Italian husband and Austrian wife in their mid-70s) and I went to eat at their place quite a few times. He grows their own produce, raises a few chickens, makes his own wine + passata + extra virgin olive oil too. I ate plenty of olives too. She makes homemade jam, delicious Austrian cakes, and an exquisite sauerkraut.
Right now they are back in Austria. They spend summers in the south and winters in the north.
Next spring they said they are going to teach me how to make all the stuff they make every year. I'll gladly share recipes if you folks are interested.