Since we left Rome, we’ve been travelling so much that keeping up with the blog has essentially been a business of recording where we’ve been. And that was not the kind of blog I had anticipated keeping. The writing is easy. But the visuals – loudly clammered for in the first weeks – delay publication, and any thought of moving on to shorter, interest (frivolous?) pieces.
But this week, the weather has packed up, and we’ve caught up on sleeping, cooking, organising (and backing up) photographs. So that brings me to a very important topic. Food. More specifically, bread. More specifically, toasted bread. The Italians like bread. There is always bread on your table in a restaurant – usually charged for in a coperto (cover charge) – and this is of varying quality to be frank. And we’ve found some bread we like for sandwiches, and for toast. Except that there’s the problem. Italians don’t toast. They advertise “toast” in bars and cafes, but I think that is similar to our more familiar cheese on toast, or grilled sandwich. (We had a memorable cheese toast at the top of the Simplon Pass – the amount of cheese on the plate would have fed a family of four.) Our first apartment had a toaster, but finding the right bread was an issue. Anyway, we’re realising that that was probably the exception. The journalist in the tower clearly doesn’t eat toast. There was no toaster in sight. And the apartment we’re in now has a sandwich griller, which the owner called a “toaster.” (Poor innocent Italian that doesn’t understand Toast).
So the husband, who is addicted to toast and considers it a perfectly acceptable dinner, has had to resort to the ready-made toast we find in the supermarkets. Each piece is identical, crisp throughout, evenly tanned on both sides. And yes, it comes in a convenient, resealable pack. But it’s not the same. The texture is all wrong and crumbly, the spreads don’t melt on the toast, and most disappointing of all, we don’t get that delicious, toasted bread smell. It didn’t matter so much when the temperatures were raging outside, and the idea of hot food was often repugnant. But now, with colder, rainy days, we miss the comfort of toast.