To start, I’m going to have the bruschetta, or as the Italians call it, broo-SKAY-tuh. And then—actually, sorry, is your broo-SKAY-tuh authentic Italian broo-SKAY-tuh, or do you make it the American way?
I only ask because I recently got back from a trip to Italia and I realize that not everyone is familiar with authentic Italian cooking. Lo sono estupido! That means “silly me.” When the Italians make broo-SKAY-tuh, they drizzle a little bit of oilo d’olivia over the bread. It’s one of those traditions that get passed down through the generations.
You guys also use olive oil? Good. Benitsimo.
Now for the wine, of course. No Italian feast would be complete without the vino de grapas. This one is very good—I believe I sampled it in southern Tuscany, or was it northern Tuscany? Or maybe eastern Tuscany? Yes, the mon-tay-pool…the mon-tee-poo… This one. A bottle of that. Gracias.
What part of “the boot” are your people from, if you don’t mind me asking? Oh, is that near Palermo? No? Venice? Really? I could have sworn it was near either Venice or Palermo. When was the last time you went back? Never? Mi fa cagare! You simply must go. It’s incredible—the people, the food, the language, the mafia, Vatican City, soccer…you know, uh, buildings…with columns… You haven’t truly lived until you’ve seen it all.
And the air… Candelabra! There’s nothing like it. Sometimes when I close my eyes I can still smell that cheesy, oily scent. Or, when I need the real thing, I can inhale from the Ziploc bag I filled with authentic Italian air while I was waiting for a bus.
Oh, and the buses! So Italian, those buses.
The Italians are such an expressive people, aren’t they? The whole time I was over there they kept running up to me waving their arms and shouting things like, “Non toccare!” and, “Andare via, figlio di puttana!” which roughly translates to, “Welcome to our fine country! Eat as many grapes from the vine as you would like!”
My apologies—I got so caught up talking about Italy that I forgot to keep ordering! Yes, yes, I understand that you have other tables to wait on. And let me just say, whether you’ve been there or not, the way you’re glaring at me and clenching and unclenching your fists lets me know that you, my friend, are a true Italian.
So, for my main course I would like a personal pizza—un pizzioni personale—with pepperoni. Don’t worry—I don’t expect it to be authentic pepperoni. I get that it would be cost prohibitive to import the real stuff from the Pepperoni region of “the old country.” It is true what they say, though: once you’ve dined in the villas of Pepperoni City no other cured meat will ever compare, but I’m willing to make do. However, I will have to insist that your pizza chef spin the dough on one finger while smoking a cigarette, as that is, from my understanding, the way that real Italians ensure maximum, uh, pizza-ness.
I think it goes without saying that I would like a pitcher of iced cappuccino. And don’t skimp on the whipped cream. Also, some water. Or, as the Italianis would say, waaaaaah-ter.
Jeremiah Budin is a “writer” living in “Brooklyn” who has been known to overuse “quotation marks.” His work has accumulated itself at jeremiahbudin.com.