Posted by: lucylastic | August 14, 2009

Still searching for La Dolce Vita!

The Italian dream seems to be inching closer, I’ve finally managed to make a bit of time to search for property, mortgages and other bits and pieces that will help me put together a business plan for a new life! I think we are having to accept that despite partaking in an ancient ritual guaranteed to forge a bond between me and the land, we may not be returning to our Tuscan dream property. We just can’t afford it. If it was being sold ‘as is’ then it might be in our price bracket, but the fact that the sellers have managed to secure the almost impossible – firm planning permission for a villa and pool on the generous land surrounding the farmhouse, puts it way beyond our budget. And we just don’t want a villa and pool anyway – it’s been suggested that we buy it and then sell the plot on, but the red tape in Italy makes me shudder before we even start on that one.

My appetite for Italy was whetted all over again with a very quirky new docu-drama that started last night – Dolce Vito – did anyone else see it? The irrepressible and overly optimistic Italian born but English bred, 61 year old Vito, (with fiancee Margarita at his side) has decided to take the best of British food to Italy and open a restaurant there. Apparently a very successful restaurateur from a line started by his father, Vito is fed up with bringing Italian food to the Brits and now wants to try things the other way around!!!! Vito drops some unpasteurised Cheddar off at a local cheese shop in Bologna – 20 out of 21 punters, (and a dog) like it. One man professes that it ‘sticks your mouth together like glue. LIKE GLUE!’ (he repeats, just for emphasis). And one housewife refused to even try it – ‘not if it’s British’! I was a tad confused in that he made an offer on the very first place he saw – in Padua I think – but then was seen exploring another place in Florence which he also wanted to buy. I actually heard him being interviewed on the radio a few days ago – and am sure they said that he ended up opening in Bologna – Italy’s well known culinary capital. Perhaps it’s OK in Italy to go round with a film crew and make offers on places you don’t intend to buy – I’ll have to check. nest week’s taster featured plates of Yorkshire Pudding and beef being carried out to a restaurant full of old ladies – I’m not sure this is well thought through. I am very supportive of good food for good food’s sake, but it’s not as if the Italian’s are crying out for better ingredients is it? Entertaining nevertheless.

Still on a foodie theme, I hear that Ainsley Harriott, (my old mate from my heady appearance on Ready Steady Cook) is campaigning to stop us eating so many chips………… Does anyone actually eat chips any more? It’s almost impossible to find a ‘proper’ chippy in Swindon – they are all Chinese or Fried Chicken or even Kebab houses that deign to sell a few chips on the side – not many people I know eat chips very often, (I sometimes cook them at home as a treat – to a Gordon Ramsay recipe from his very first televised ‘cook-a-long’. Lovely, healthy, (they are done in the oven). But not often. I’ll have to stop now, it’s making me want to rush out for tuppence worth of ‘scrumps’ and bit of cod – a treat from childhood if ever there was one. And what is a scrump? Any left over bit of batter, potato, fish, sausage or other delicacy left in the fryer at the end of the evening. A bargain!




  1. I did see Dolce Vito and it was entertaining…but I can’t help thinking that flying “the best” sausages and “the best” cheese to Italy is not great on the food miles front….

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