We’ve been making our way around France and Italy, sampling the various regional cuisines. I get the importance of this – understanding how people ate when they only had what was available to them nearby (Italy is not entirely an olive oil nation), and how certain foods were preserved before refrigeration (prosciutto, pickles), etc. But I must say, even in the midst of Florence and Bologna, I am growing weary of all of this hearty peasant food. Today we made (times 3) tagliatelle bolognese, roast pork loin, whole breaded fish wrapped in prosciutto, stewed baby artichokes with peas, marinated mushrooms, and tuscan bean soup. We actually left out a recipe for a frittata, because that would have been “too much.” These cuisines were designed for hard, field-working cultures, and perhaps not intended to be prepared and consumed en masse at 11am by a bunch of snotty urbanites. 🙂 I am truly missing the “advanced culinary preprations” and plating excercises we did at the beginning of this module with all of its microgreens, pureed sauces, and citrus vinaigrettes. Not that I prefer prissy food to comfort food, but I’d really like to get back to a middle ground. (We will, but not until we detour through pastry first.) I’m sure an in-depth understanding of how the way that we eat came to be will make me a better chef, but sheesh. When class is over all I want is a friggin fruit smoothie. I can’t imagine I am getting a lot of sympathy here, especially given the fact that my ongoing Barbecue-Slinging Personal Training is still causing weight loss in spite of having had Beef Bourguignon for breakfast.