Would You Buy A Used Car From An Italian Politician? How About A Cauliflower Pizza Then? - An American in Italy Blog at Allrecipes.com - 324711

An American in Italy

Would you buy a used car from an Italian politician? How about a cauliflower pizza then? 
Apr. 1, 2014 1:13 am 
Updated: Apr. 4, 2014 10:27 am
A used car from an Italian Politician, huh?

That is a very good question.  Has nothing to do with food, but nonetheless, a very good question. As I sat down to my breakfast this morning I opened my electronic device and read the news. That question loomed at me from a reporter at the BBC.

The answer was simple:  NO!  I wouldn't buy anything from an Italian politician.  

The problem is I already have.  I pay my taxes in this nutty country and therefore those cars that Fonzie is selling on Ebay are mine...sort of.

If you don't know what I'm talking about let me explain.  Italy boasts the highest number of parliamentarians in Europe.  They are also the highest paid, the most corrupt and the most useless.  They show up to work less than any of their Eurpoean counterparts while basking in the highest salaries.  They also have the biggest benefits package in Europe.  They get luxury cars and drivers to take them everywhere.  I pay for these cars and their drivers.  

The number of cars has increased in recent years due to having a clown called Berlusconi running the country.  He and his cronies needed cool cars to get around and, evidently,  I needed to pay for them.  So, now our PM -Fonzie - has decided to listen to the angry population and sell some of these cars on Ebay to make some quick cash for the Italian sheep that are his citizens.  Out of 60,000 of these cars how many will he sell?  150.  Yep, one- five - zero.  Now, how much money will that shave off our trillion euro debt?  Let's count.  150 cars sold times 10,000 euros per car.  About 1,500,000 euros.. if we're lucky.  That's not even enough for a snow cone off that iceberg.  Blowing smoke anyone?

Our politicians haven't realised that Italians politics and the Italian government have lost credibility in the world.  The biggest story about the crisis we read in newspapers in the year 2010 was that the crisis has led husbands to cheat less because they can't afford to take their mistresses to hotels.  Poor them.  

I just scratched my head.

Obviously, I don't watch Italian news or read Italian newspapers because all news is controlled by the state here.  So the BBC and CNN are my main sources of info.  Until recently.  I've since begun to re-think that choice.  The other day on CNN, with reference to the "missing" MH370.  A breaking news story on CNN stated that 

"Boeing 777 will struggle to maintain altitude once fuel tanks are empty".

I immediately wrote to my colleagues:

After the discovery of the wheel, CNN has uncovered vital news for the aviation population.
Pilots be advised that, it seems, without fuel the B777 will have difficulty to keep flying.
Boeing has been advised of this design flaw and engineers are working double shifts to remedy the gross oversight.

You mean the B777 isn't a glider?  What were those guys at Boeing thinking?

Then I started to think that the real problem isn't Boeing's lack of understanding of commercial aviation needs.  But that maybe Italian media isn't the only ones to get it wrong.  

I then thought of Doug's pizza madness and how a food magazine could get it so wrong.  I get it that CNN had some non aviation guy on the phone with his non aviation boss and the boss said "hey that's a great angle.  Go with it."  They obviously had some basket weaver running the show and may not understand that aircraft equipped with engines need said engines to fly.  Engines in turn need fuel to provide thrust.  

OK.  OK...Ok.  I know there was the famous "Gimli" Glider.  An Air Canada 767 performed a glider-like manoeuvre to land safely after having run out of fuel.  But these circumstances were totally different.

But a food magazine that can't get food right makes me feel bad for Doug and all those people who spend money on those magazines.  Doug, saved himself by admitting that he only looks at the pictures.  Then proved it when he did read about cauliflower pizza and understood he was being duped he exposed the magazine on it by publishing his doubts.

Now there's some journalism.  Good reporting Doug.  He's far too good for CNN though.

They took pizza and added cauliflower to it?  Doug asked "can you really call it pizza?".  No Doug, you can't.  Pizza, as I mentioned on another blog of mine, is a law in this country.  There's no cauliflower in pizza.

I have read some recipes on this website that say "Italian" this or that.  Alfredo.  What is that?  It's not Italian.  I mean it.

For those who care, here is a usual meal for a typical Italian family:  

1.  pasta or rice.  Most Italians start out with a carbohydrate first plate.  Pasta and tomato sauce, pasta and pesto, rice and veggies, gnocchi, etc.  
Take some zucchine, boil them in salted water add the pasta, cook until al dente and drain.  Toss in some pesto or a clove of garlic, olive oil and parmigiano reggiano.  That is a typical plate here.

2.  protein.  Gotta have it.  Try a frittata or a steak or fish or even cheese or ham.  Don't add any sauces.  That's French.  Sauces are the reason why Italians don't like French food.  
Here's one:  chuck roast, carrots, potatoes, celery, onion and parsley, bay leaf and cloves with a dash of salt boiled in water for hours until super tender.  The "bollito" it's called.  Delicious.

3. vegetable.  Usually a salad served after or with the protein dish.  Sometimes this could be boiled veggies or even a parmigiana (no chicken, no sausage, just eggplant, cheese and tomatoes).

4.  Dessert.  Fruit.  Most Italians end their meals with some fruit.  Nutritionalists will tell you this is wrong.  It is.  It doesn't aid in digestion to throw sugar (easily digested) on top of proteins (longer digestion necessary) but Italians don't care.  Pineapple is a big meal ender here.  

That's it.  Now, there are complex dishes that are traditional.  What North Americans called baked ziti is actually "pasta al forno".  That is simply half cooked pasta, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese mixed then poured into a casserole dish, topped with parmesan cheese and baked in the oven.

Typically, lasagne are still a first plate (yes, lasagne is plural).  After people have a helping of lasagne, they have their second course with a salad too.

What's the moral to this story?  
1. You can call an Italian politician a used car salesman.  
2. You can second guess a famous (and I'll bet expensive) food magazine and call it a farce when they try to pull the pizza over your eyes.  
3. Italians don't like French food and you should not be duped into thinking anything else.  
4. CNN performs public services by hiring morons to develop news stories keeping them from being burdens on society. (Actually my sister came up with that one.)
5.  That Doug guy rocks.

A side note might be:
6.  Canadians know how to fly jumbo jets like gliders.

Make friends with an Italian and find out what they really eat.  Just don't buy a car from them. 
 : -)



Apr. 1, 2014 6:08 am
Melanie, I suggested to Allrecipes That few of us "Allrecipes Ambassadors" could help launch the AR Italy site almost two years ago. Be careful what you wish for. The recipes were a challenge in translation. We had a heck of a time trying to figure some of them out. I did find some winners there though. We could have used your expertise to get us over the hump :) PS Sounds like your politicians take it to a whole 'nother level :)
Apr. 1, 2014 6:11 am
Here are some that I attempted....http://allrecipes.it/cuochi/100/mauigirl-foto.aspx
Apr. 1, 2014 6:25 am
Good morning - with praise like that, I will have to make sure that I pin a few extra lira to the statue of St. Melanie when they parade through the streets during the Festa of Bergamo. I gained 15lbs in the first 6 months that I dated my wife eating the italian way because I did not want to offend her mother. 20+ years later and I still have to dance around the table with my plate to miss my mother-in-law's extra heavy helping hand at Sunday Dinner. Now I am off to watch my wife ridicule the recipe for cauilflower crust pizza as she makes it.
Apr. 1, 2014 7:26 am
Hello Mauigirl, Yes, the IT site isn't bad. I registered the other day and made one recipe from it. I just like the feel of this site more. Plus, not being my mother tongue, I prefer the English site. Yes, Italian politicians have arrived at new levels. I like it the I can now say "Italian politicians are used car salesmen. It's official!" :-)
Apr. 1, 2014 9:51 am
Excellent writing Melanie! I laughed, I cried, and I pondered. All hopefully in the correct places. I wish I were living in Italy right now. Great food. Horrible government.
Apr. 1, 2014 12:38 pm
Hilarious! My father once bought a really nice Fiat, from a dealership whose mechanics were all Italians, trained by Fiat. Dad kept complaining there was a noise coming from the right front wheel every time he braked and had the car back to the dealer almost weekly, only to be assured everything was fine. Until the day he drove down the steep hill that was his driveway, braked to avoid entering traffic, and the entire brake mechanism fell off the right front wheel. Nope! Not gonna buy a car -- a USED car at that, from an Italian politician.......Oh, and about the news? Better stick with the BBC, American news has been so dumbed down, I doubt anyone here noticed CNN's gaffe.
Apr. 2, 2014 5:50 am
Good stuff, Melanie! Love your light hearted take on living in Italy. You share your honest perspective on every day life in a foreign country and I appreciate that. You're humorous while making your point. Can't get blogs like this anywhere else!
Apr. 2, 2014 11:36 pm
Thanks Lace. Glad you enjoyed it. Best, Melanie
Apr. 4, 2014 10:27 am
What a shock! I knew Berlusconi was a womanizer, but never heard about the cars, salaries, no-work ethic, etc. Maybe our congress isn't the worst...? I would love to hear more about life in Italy - it WAS one of the few countries I wanted to visit!
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About Me
American living between Italy and Belgium. I'm married to an Italian and a mom to three Italian/American girls - all teenagers. Celiac sufferer and allergic to ALL seafood, which is a huge bummer...especially in Italy. I don't know which I like more, airplanes or food but can say I don't care for airplane food!
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Sweet and savoury whatevers, doesn't mean that my creations are always appetizing. I like trying to adapt gluten recipes with non gluten alternatives. I enjoy the challenge. I prefer to use ingredients from their raw state or as least processed as possible. Mixing different types of GF ingredients is very interesting for learning their qualities. Most of the things I flub up get turned into pie crusts, coatings for baked chicken or bases for other dishes. It's like chemistry lab but you can eat the experiment. I also enjoy trying new ingredients found during my travels.
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Burning bread. I get it from my mom. My dad taught me how to choose the worst line at the grocey store. :-)
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Every day. If I can get my kids to eat it, it's a triumph!
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I can't seem to make a decent Gluten Free pizza crust. Grump, grump.
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