Coffees, Cannolis, and Cheeses – Oh My!
My name is Chaney Schultz and I am a Management major spending the semester in Milan, Italy! My biggest goals for the semester are to learn as much as I can about Italian culture by attending classes, traveling to a variety of Italian cities, and of course, eating like an Italian as well. It’s been about two weeks since I landed in Milan and one of my favorite parts so far is the food! Coffee culture is completely different here – it’s common for people to order an espresso and drink it standing up at a bar as opposed to sitting down. I learned pretty quickly that ordering coffee with milk after breakfast is a big faux paz, which is definitely different from the U.S.! One of the things that surprised me is how common pasta is – but how infrequently Italians order it. Generally speaking, big plates of pasta are more frequently sold to American tourists – not to locals. The same holds true for sweets like cannolis, tiramisu, and the variety of other pastries made in local bakeries. Many shops around my area have a smaller size and a larger size of these desserts – tourists order the large ones and locals tend to order the small ones. Food costs are pretty similar in comparison to the U.S. , with two stark differences being wine and cheese. You can easily find a bottle of wine for as little as 1 Euro at a local grocery store and I recently purchased 110 grams (just shy of 1/4 pound) of brie for 2 Euros!
Outside of well priced groceries, my favorite local food custom is apertivo. An apertivo can serve as a pre – dinner snack or as a dinner, depending on how that particular bar wants to run their apertivo. These apertivos cost between 8 and 12 Euros and include a cocktail drink and either a small plate of tapas or a buffet. I prefer the buffet because it allows me to have a filling dinner for a pretty low price, but I’ve also had some incredibly well made tapas that were certainly worth the cost.
This weekend I am going to Venice for the Carnivale and will update on how it goes!