My favourite question still to this day is "What are we eating?". My poor mother has been listening to me ask this question for about 23 years, and although she thinks I'm absolutely nuts because "all I think about is food", she only has my Nonni (grandparents) to blame.
Both sides of my family came from amazing cooks, bakers, and winemakers. As a child I would visit my Nonna's house in Guelph, and find her cooking sugo (tomato sauce), stuffed vegetables, or frying my absolute FAVOURITE-- arancini (rice balls) or crocchette. There would be rubbermaid containers full of biscotti, and the cantina (cold room) would be stocked with my Nonno's homemade wine, and cured meats. My other Nonna shared that same passion, and I'd visit her while making fresh sugo, her famous homemade cavatelli, or pastina (soup with small pieces of pasta). She would also keep a secret batch of her famous chocolate ravioli to surprise us with after dinner. If I was always surrounded by passionate and creative cooks, how could I ever stop thinking of food?! Needless to say, the food and beverage industry is where I ended up. I now work for one of the busiest restaurants in Toronto, and have the opportunity to watch our amazing chefs bring their passion to life everyday.
Many Italians in Toronto share a similar upbringing as myself, and this has inspired several bakeries, cafe's, deli's, cheese factories, and restaurants in the city. Each of those places are inspired by different regional Italian cuisine, and bring the community closer together.
I love discovering new authentic hotspots around me, and this portion of Vita Italiana will allow me to share those with you. You will also be able to learn some of my favourite Italian beverages and dishes......I'm hungry already!
Fa la brava,