Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Italian Movie: The Double Hour

I’m a sucker for anything in Italian. When I was living in Italy, I was a sucker for anything in English. (I’m sure there’s a term for folks like me.) I will admit that my husband and I recently saw The Double Hour simply because it was in Italian.

The Double Hour's trailer shows speed dating, intense love with sad overtones, robbery, murder, suicide, illness, and more. I generally shy away from murder mysteries or thrillers, but since it was in Italian, of course I saw it (although we made it an afternoon showing, to mediate the fear factor.)

I was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. As the New York Times review of the movie adeptly explains, there were some surprising twists and turns throughout the plot. I am still thinking about the early plot clues and the ending.

If you are learning Italian, watching movies is a great way to practice your skills. Most, if not all, Italian movies shown in the United States have subtitles in English. If you stream or rent Netflix movies, you can usually change the subtitles to Italian. Listening to the language while reading it (even if it isn’t 100% the same), helps you to improve your comprehension of the language.

What Italian movies have you enjoyed? 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Favorite D.C. Area Italian Restaurants?

When you crave true Italian food, where do you go in the D.C. area? So far, these are my two favorite places:

2Amys, close to the cathedral, offers a wonderful array of cheeses, cured meats and pizzas that I haven’t seen elsewhere in the area. La Strada, in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, features fresh pastas.

I imagine I’ve been missing out on countless other places. Where do you go out for Italian food?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Practice Italian by Watching Italian Television

A good way to learn a second language is by integrating it into something you already enjoy doing. For example, watching sports, movies or other television programs in Italian. If you are bored while you are watching/reading/listening to something, well, you know how that will turn out.

Mad About Italy offers us links to popular Italian television stations. You can stream them live the way you can many television programs in English.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cin Cin!

Italians clink glasses and happily cheer, “cin cin!” On birthdays, they offer their “auguri” and the hope for “Cent’Anni!”

Today, the day after my birthday, I’d like to offer you, my readers, a “cin cin” and a “grazie” for returning weekly to read about Italian and Italian-American food, language and culture.

I’d also like to share a list, in no particular order, of foods that I love. Emphasis on the word “love.”

What are your favorite foods?

Spicy popcorn shrimp
Homemade bread
Dolcezza’s mint ice cream (Washington, D.C.)
My husband’s homemade tortilla chips
Sweetwater Café’s ginger fizz (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
Pesto made with basil from my mother’s garden
Blue Moon Café Margarita’s (Bronxville, New York)
Biscuits and gravy
Reese’s Pieces
Mighty Good coffee (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
My father’s fettuccine alfredo
Tuscan pecorino cheese (not hard, not soft)
BGR Joint Burgers (Washington, D.C.) 
Sorrento’s fried calamari (Elizabeth, New Jersey)
Chinese steamed pork dumplings
Two Amy’s rice balls (Washington, D.C.) 
Bagel Chateau bagels (Westfield, New Jersey)
Chocolate truffles
Fresh mozzarella
La Pietra Olive Oil (Florence, Italy)
My friend Lisa’s deviled eggs (Florence, Italy)
Aunt Dora’s double-chocolate chip cookies
Crostini Fiorentini
Triscuits, with salt, of course
Shorts Beer (Michigan) 
Double cream brie
Fresh figs (Sala Consilina, Italy)
Casa di Trevi’s ravioli (Roselle Park, New Jersey) 
Garlic bagel chips
Gala apples
Smoked scamorza cheese
Fish in Greece
Garlic mashed potatoes
Zingerman’s chocolate bread (Ann Arbor, Michigan) 
Ouzo on our honeymoon (Starting in Athens)
Sandpiper’s Black Raspberry Ice Cream (Greenport, Long Island)
Fresh avocado with olive oil, salt and pepper
Large soft pretzels
Caper leaves on Greek islands
Lentil salad with goat cheese
Palak paneer
Almost anything in New Orleans
Amish market donuts (South Jersey)
Orzo cooked in broth and left to swell overnight
Mrs. Field’s recipe for banana bread
Salted matzo with butter
New York City white pizza
Trader Joe’s jalapeno crunchies
My grandmother’s egg salad on a bagel
Swing’s coffee (Washington, D.C.) 
Linda's chocolate pudding pie
Pasta with shrimp and lots of garlic & olive oil
Onion rings