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No Variety!

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1 No Variety! on 20th March 2010, 4:51 pm

Im going to have my rant that i sometimes have to my BF here lol

I hate that they dont have variety in the corner shops and supermarkets here!

When i lived in the UK you could go in the supermarket and think hmmm what shall i have tonight?! then look at the chinese, indian sections, fried chicken, pizza, the diet section like the weight watcher brands and it was really good. I love variety i love being able to have and try different things different foods!

But here they dont seem to have variety! and i dont understand why?! surely some people must have the desire or urge to try different foods other than pizza, pasta and fish here?

When i go to the big supermarket the 'international' section doesnt really have that much and it just seems a bit disappointing.

Maybe its just me maybe i have just been spoilt for choice being raised in the UK!?

What does everyone else think and feel on this matter?? drunken

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2 Re: No Variety! on 20th March 2010, 5:55 pm

You need to come to my neighbourhood (Piazza Vittorio) for some Indian food or to the markets here where they have pretty much any cuisine you could want. There's even a chinese woman who makes fresh tofu and sells it at the markets.

But yeah - when I first moved here I couldn't deal with the sheer amount of pasta and just go so sick of pasta, pizza and mozzarella. My solution is to cook lots of different kinds of ethnic foods using the food from the markets (lately lots of guacamole with avos and coriander from the market) and also eat Indian food quite often with my family at our favorite Indian place near here.

It is amazing to me too though that many people here seem so uninterested in other cuisines besides Italian. No There's only so much pasta etc a girl can eat - or so you'd think!

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3 Re: No Variety! on 20th March 2010, 6:19 pm

My only problem with that is my italian BF doesnt like variety Sad he loves his pizza and pasta! he might have something english if i cook it like shepherds pie or if we visit my parents in the UK.

But if i cook something non-italian its always met with 'i dont think i will like this', i mean he will try it and sometimes he likes things and other times he doesnt like it at all. When ever i want a chinese takeaway i have to beg a few times to get it (which isn't often) and he has a pizza instead.

I have never tried japanese or indian here as he never wants to! the most adventrous hes ever gotten is German food! and he got me a nice italian food cook book for my b'day lol

I will have to come visit that market of yours!!

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4 Re: No Variety! on 20th March 2010, 7:08 pm

Ahhh Claire,
I feel your pain. The 'ethnic' part of Torino and the market where I can get coriander gives me bad vibes and every Italian I know has had their purse stolen there!! affraid

I must admit that I do have an English hubby, but he can be quite fussy. Over the years he's got less fussy if that's any help!!! Rolling Eyes I tend to stock up on things when I'm at home in the UK, like poppodums and mango chutney and lime pickle. I've found a source of spices in my local market and then I make my own curries at home with the spices roasted and ground.

I'm not sure what you think, but the Italians seem to be scared of anything that isn't Italian and believe that if they let these things in it will erode their own culture. The UK (and the States and Canada for that matter) is such a big mixture of a lot of different peoples that we seem to embrace lots of different foodstuffs and recipes and ideas on food from those people. The problem I have here sometimes is trying to think up English things for friends or for our language school end of year dinners cos in the UK when I was cooking for a lot of people what would I cook?? A huge veggie lasagne or an Aubergine Parmigiana!! and Tiramisu for pudding!! lol!

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5 Re: No Variety! on 20th March 2010, 8:56 pm

If you guys think you have it rough in Roma and Torino can you imagine what it's like here in the village? affraid

Giovanna

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6 Re: No Variety! on 20th March 2010, 9:23 pm

we went to a nice Indian in Trestevere not that long ago. We will have to try and organise something again. Also I have had Japanese a few times here in ROme.It is expensive, but once I went to Fiumicino to a bar where they did a 15euro deal on all u can eat Japanese. It would be nice to go in the summer becasue it is right at the port. Just don't have a second drink coz they charge 10euro!
One thing to be understood here is that only Italian cuisine really counts. The rest is just messing, not real cooking at all.I am SOOOOOOOOOO bored of pasta, when I go to a restaurant I am so uninspired and everything is so heavy. I often fancy a nice salad with some interesting things inside, but that is just toooooooo much to ask!!!! Another thing I hate is how people are so hyper critical of the cooking. if u are invited to a meal, u should be gracious and just shut up even if u think it is a bit scotta or under-salted...just be glad u didn't have to prepare it I say!!!! In fairness to Italians they do seem to have a passion for talking about how the food was cooked, whereas I would rather talk about something else..........

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7 Re: No Variety! on 21st March 2010, 9:32 am

i miss it too,
ad the supermarket(pim but a big one) and some normal markets you can find some stuff.but it also cost a bit more.

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8 Re: No Variety! on 21st March 2010, 10:01 am

Yes we must organise it! The markets at Piazza Vittorio are great - and very cheap. There is also this shop which I realy like which is kind of like a cheaper version of Castroni. They have lots of international food (brown sugar, even golden syrup - papadums etc) but they're not as expensive as castroni.

I miss sushi too. Very expensive here unfortunately. And Thai food - haven't had it in years. Sad

Luckily my dutch husband loves travel and international food too - in fact he probably misses it more than me. Smile

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9 Re: No Variety! on 21st March 2010, 12:10 pm

Ohhh maybe we should arrange a meet-up to go to the markets!!! Cool

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10 Re: No Variety! on 21st March 2010, 4:15 pm

Yay! International food lovers! Very Happy

I agree the there is just not the same variety here that there is back home Sad but I have actually found a number of decent-to-good Chinese, Japanese & Indian restaurants since we moved to Rome 6 months ago. (Incl. Jaipur in Trastevere - is that the one you are talking about?) Also, I second the vote for Vittorio Emanuele - it's a good place for both restaurants and markets.

As for Thai, I know of one restaurant - "go thai" near the Furio Camillo stop - but unfortunately it was pretty disappointing, and kind of expensive. Gambero Rosso lists a Vietnamese place near Campo de' Fiori. Anyone up for trying that?

I'm game for any meetups involving 'ethnic' food!

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11 Re: No Variety! on 21st March 2010, 5:33 pm

sara wrote:Yay! International food lovers! Very Happy
Gambero Rosso lists a Vietnamese place near Campo de' Fiori. Anyone up for trying that?

I've actually been to the Vietnamese place in the centre. It was very disappointing unfortunately. I love Vietnamese food but this was just kind of bland. Vietnamese food is very fish-based (or at least the Vietnamese food back in Sydney is) and fish here is just not that great and really overpriced I've found. Good and not too expensive fish is one of the things I really miss from Australia.

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12 Re: No Variety! on 21st March 2010, 7:07 pm

Im up for trying Thai!!

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13 Re: No Variety! on 21st March 2010, 9:50 pm

sara wrote:Yay! International food lovers! Very Happy I have actually found a number of decent-to-good Chinese, Japanese & Indian restaurants since we moved to Rome 6 months ago. (Incl. Jaipur in Trastevere - is that the one you are talking about?)
yes Japur...have u been? It is hard for me to make a judgment as the night I went I ate one samosa and was full up and couldn't bring myself to eat much more, the same for my sister in law,and Giuliano (my OH) was ill so didn't eat. But it looked nice and it was clean looking too. Hard to judge on price, we paid about 20, which is good, but not if u consider we didn't actually eat!!! (the bill was devided betwe about 12 of us).
I've been to an Indian in Ostia, which seemed ok to me, but the others weren't bothered about it, and the one on Via Cavour seems nice enough too, but I feel too cramped in!

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14 Re: No Variety! on 22nd March 2010, 12:10 am

Piccolina- Ah, I'm really sorry to hear that about the Vietnamese. I guess it's not all that surprising though, since there doesn't seem to be much of a Vietnamese population here. I'm guessing Sydney is full of Southeast Asians and all the great food that comes with them.

About the fish, do you mean it's mediocre just in the restaurants or also in the markets? Maybe I have the opposite bias, having spent the last 6 years in a land-locked state in the center of the US, but I'm quite happy with the fish/seafood options at say the Piazza Vittorio market. It can be pretty pricey, but all meat is expensive here compared to the US.

Lizzie- Yup, I've been. I don't remember exactly what we had or what it cost, but I know whatever we had I though it was pretty good, because it's on my list of places to return to. Shanti in Prati is another Indian/Pakistani place we liked.

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15 Re: No Variety! on 23rd March 2010, 12:14 am

Yeah you're right the fish at piazza vittorio markets is pretty good and not too pricey.

I guess I just generally find both meat and fish here to be overpriced 'luxury' foods. I love fish and really miss good, cheap fish in Australia. I used to love to go to the fish markets in sydney for some sashimi.

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16 Re: No Variety! on 23rd March 2010, 11:00 am

Sounds like I really need to visit Sydney! I once had sushi for breakfast at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo - really fantastic, never had anything else quite that good.

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17 Re: No Variety! on 25th March 2010, 4:52 pm

How about just being able to get a pizza before 8 at night? I miss take out food of any kind!

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18 Re: No Variety! on 26th March 2010, 11:02 am

Ok, i really try hard not to complain so much about this place (seeing as it was my choice to come here) BUT seeing as ya'll started it!! lol im going to pipe in!.. I am from Anderson Indiana. A medium size town but definatly growing. We have every type of resturant you can imagine. Not only that, we have several places that stay open really late, like till 2 in the morning. Not only do I agree that there is no variety here...but I am finding an even bigger dissapointment... the food that I CAN find here that has American brand names.... DONT TASTE THE SAME!!! Grrr.... I am always sooo excited to find something here that we have back home only to get it home, rip into it,,,and then... blahhh this isnt how it taste back home!!! How can they change the taste!! Not to mention the prices you have to pay for them. 4 euros for a little jar a peanut butter which I pay 1 us dollar for!.. Betty Crocker cake mixes and icing for 7 euros each. I know this is only because I am in Venice but even on the mainland these tings are pretty expensive. Sometimes i think i need to get into the import business because someone is making a killing! Oh how I miss the days when I could go to 24 hour stores, with so many choices. When my husband came to America the first time and went shopping with me he was really lost in the store.. All he could do was look around in amazement!!! lol. Luckily he loves different kinds of foods and thought everything he tried was delicious!!! His remarks on the food in America he tried were that it was like an explosion of taste in your mouth!! Ah yess my love I remember it well!!! I was a fast food JUNKIE back home Taco Bell being my main source of late night addictions. But I'll tell you a thing, even tho it seems like we are eating much healthier here... Ive gained more weight than ever!!! All this pasta pasta pasta.... and no cheddar cheese to put on it!!! Argggghhh!!! I agree with the poster who wrote that maybe we are spoiled by all the choices we had. Maybe we are.....that being said, it sure would be FANTASTIC to bite into a savory, suculant baby back rib at APPLEBEES!!!!! yummmmm or a big fat baked potatoe with fat dollap of REAL SOUR CREAM ( not the stuff they pass off here as sour cream) ....Taco Bell, Wendy's Pizza King with your deep dish wonderful covered with cheese that strings when you eat pizza!!! Penn Station and your amazing grilled sub sandwiches....sigh..... ok I think im done.

P.S. I love my husband more than food! I love my husband more than food, I love my husband more than food!!!! lol Smile

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19 Re: No Variety! on 26th March 2010, 2:26 pm

Heeeheeee

Its expensive here in Roma as well! i stock up on stuff when i can!

I think there are online site you can order the food from where ever and then they send you it but that costs alot! ( like birtish cornershop.com)

Another way is to get people who visit you to smuggle you stuff here in there suitcase heeheee!!

But your right it lacks variety here:( so much that im thinking of finding the recipes and making the stuff myself!

I am also dreaming of the week will be spending in the UK to see my parents in a few months and all the lovely foods i can have!!! it just keeps me going! heehee

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20 Re: No Variety! on 12th April 2010, 12:00 am

sooooooo agree with you guys! I live in Florence which also has lots of international food but show me ONE , just ONE good mexican restaurant... Ethnic food sold in supermarkets here is expensive and a luxury.

And i often walk in the supermarkets never excited.. yes i Love pasta, pizza, veggies but geez something else would be nice.. a decent avocado, turkey sandwhich meat, cheddar.. or even different dessert, not always the same cakes sold in every supermarket! I am even bored with dessert lol..Why can't you mix tradition with innovation?

I made banana nut bread yesterday for my bf's family and they loved it.. I am trying to open their mind to other foods as they are also of the " italian food is the best , nothing else matters" variety..

So far Ive made them chilli, spinach-artichoke dip, cornbread, burritos, homeade nachos, pumpkin pie, a HUGE yummy salad and not just a sad tomato, brazilian black beans and rice...corn on a cob, and they love it! but they continue to make the same food.. grr!

not only that but getting to the store can be such a pain in the a** , i lose hope LOL..after a bus ride and carrying the heavy bags home in the coop bags that disinigrate as you carry them and smell really really bad.

i miss just getting in the car , going to the store, not feeling rushed to bag my groceries and not have people blocking the aisles which seems to happen everytime Im at the store, putting them in trunk of car and driving home lol.. would be a dream!!!

and does everyone peel their fruit? I don't know about you guys but I love eating an apple, pear with the skin on ( washed of course ) .. and eggs for breakfast lol... i hate mulino bianco boring cookies and coffee and milk .. an iced latte would be nice! Razz

so the brazilian beans are now set in my crock pot ( bought from germany ) so as you can see I am craving some diversity right about now! Laughing

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21 Re: No Variety! on 12th April 2010, 12:48 am

No kidding...so glad I'm not the only one who still mourns the loss of variety! I've been in Rome for 8+ years and there's just no good foreign food to be found, unless I make it myself. Castroni has (non uncle-Ben's) flour tortillas which are not terrible. Add a little pollo asado, guacamole and homemade harbanero chili and it makes a tasty meal.
Meal for one, of course, as the fidanzato is not exactly big on trying new things. Even when we went to visit my family in California, he still wanted bread/pasta/pizza/fish at every meal. I wanted to put him back on the plane!
The fruit-peeling thing really struck a chord, though--what's with that? Pears, peaches, even apricots--he peels them all. His sister peels grapes. Carrots get peeled even if they're cooked, lettuce gets soaked in water with baking soda. I feel like a barbarian when I eat a whole (washed) peach, or cook potatoes with the skins on! Sheesh.
There's some very tasty Ethiopian restaurants around La Sapienza and Termini, definitely a nice occasional break from the usual pasta/pizza diet.
Morgan

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22 Re: No Variety! on 12th April 2010, 11:49 am

OMG my BF does that to! he peels every fruit before eating it as he says there dirty! Im like err why dont you just wash it then? lol!

And one time i did baked potato and he insisted i take the skins of or he couldnt eat them! Shocked

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23 Re: No Variety! on 12th April 2010, 3:20 pm

ClareRoma wrote:OMG my BF does that to! he peels every fruit before eating it as he says there dirty! Im like err why dont you just wash it then? lol!

And one time i did baked potato and he insisted i take the skins of or he couldnt eat them! Shocked

i also remember his suspicion of potatoe skins! Razz
MY kids are so used to having their friut peeled that when we go to the UK and my sister hands them an apple, they're like 'what's that?' and she says 'hard luck either eat it like that or nothing!' ...unfortunately I have gotten to used to the habits around here, and as I don't really care about food I just let everyone else get on with it! Wink

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24 Re: No Variety! on 12th April 2010, 11:21 pm

giovanna wrote:If you guys think you have it rough in Roma and Torino can you imagine what it's like here in the village? affraid

Giovanna

EXACTLY MY THOUGHTS!

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25 Re: No Variety! on 12th April 2010, 11:29 pm

ClareRoma wrote:My only problem with that is my italian BF doesnt like variety Sad he loves his pizza and pasta! he might have something english if i cook it like shepherds pie or if we visit my parents in the UK.

soooooo..... you've answered your own question Clare! The shops don't have it because most italians are just like your BF. Sad

however, i am totally on your side Wink i definitely miss variety. Try being pregnant, though... that was when i thought I was going to flip!!! Suddenly all I wanted was anything NOT ITALIAN. I couldn't even stand olive oil. Got over that, thankfully!

anyway, best we can do is satisfy some of our cravings with mildly-spiced dishes... like stirfry or fried rice... with just a little less flavour than we'd normally put. My DH doesn't mind this at times. What surprises me is that he actually has RETURNED to being very italian... he lived in the US for years!!! and ate lots of varieties of food... but here, he opts for pasta al pomodoro and is shocked when I whine about how it just doesn't seem like a complete meal!

One thing i miss a lot is the wraps. They need a decent thin burrito shell here... we could do a number of things with that. I even thought about buying a tortilla press... but i decided it was too much work.

On another note, I too peel my fruit, and i hate grape skins. I actually do it just because i don't like peels... not so much for the dirt.
And ever since I moved to Italy, i don't drink ice-cold water Smile they just grow on you here, with their funny habits!

get yourself down to a good international market my dear!

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