I fell in love with an Italian family when I was at uni, but most of all, as a budding nutrition student i fell in love with the way that they ate. A very long way from the grilled chops and mashed potato I grew up with in the western suburbs of Sydney; these delightful people sat together every night and savoured a number of courses of salad, bread, grilled seafood, marinated vegetables and coffee, every night. It was the best insight into food culture and one that could never be learnt from a text book.
Now, 10 years later, this family remain a very important part of my life and just last weekend, the 70 year old table head painted my townhouse. With him he brought his esky, filled with fresh Italian bread, proscuito, fruit and aged cheese, food which he survived on for the entire weekend.
I do not think that a scrap of butter, margarine has ever passed through this man's lips his entire life and not much processed food either-bread is about as processed as it gets. And maybe this is the very simple reason he is still working full time without a scrap of fat on him at the grand old age of 70 - or perhaps it is the 1/2 bottle or so of red he also polishes off each night!?
Either way, that kind of diet doesn't seem so bad after all