May 24th, 2017


Food in Ispra

My workshop is done! It was good, but I doubt recounting details would interest anybody other than my boss, so I will skip it. Instead, I will tell you what I've been eating for the last few days.

Dinner Sunday: we got hungry late in the evening and were too tired to go anywhere, so we ate in the hotel restaurant. We both got mixed salads (greens, celery, and tomatoes, which was surprisingly satisfying with good balsamic vinegar and olive oil on it), and shared a caprese salad and a fried cheese and shaved ham plate from the appetizer menu, which made for a very satisfying meal.

Breakfasts: the hotel has a nice continental breakfast spread. For me, that means a few slices of salami, turkey, and cheese, a couple boiled eggs, and maybe a little wedge of spreadable cheese. Fizzy (frizzante!) water to drink. The eggs have very orange yolks; I got one on the first day that was only soft-boiled, and it was amazing.

Lunch Monday: the cafeteria at the Joint Research Centre. Tasty enough for cafeteria food and remarkably inexpensive. I had a hefty roasted chicken leg with romanesco (the fractal broccoli/cauliflower hybrid) and a bottle of fizzy water and it was like, 4 euros.

Dinner Monday: more pizza! From Julius and Benny, in part because that's what we could find within walking distance that was open before 7 pm. It took us a while to figure out the menu well enough to order, but the Google Translate app does live translation of text through the phone camera, and it's kind of like magic. Like, awkward and unreliable magic, but still magic. I had a "Campagna", which is tomato, cheese, proscuitto, arugula, porcini, and parmesan. Jerry had a "Billy", which was tomato, cheese, red onion, shredded lettuce(!), roasted red pepper, and pepperoni. They were both excellent, and so big they didn't fit fully on the plate. The crust was amazingly thin, and necessitated a knife and fork to eat.

Lunch Tuesday: terrible sandwiches provided by the workshop. I ate half a dry ham and cheese, then pulled out the filling and folded it around the filling from a roasted vegetable sandwich. Then I ate a package of nuts Jerry got me that I had in my bag Just In Case. No stars, but made up for by...

Dinner Tuesday: a five-course meal for the workshop at the restaurant in our hotel. It started with an aperitif on the balcony of champagne or fruit punch and salmon pastry nibblies. The first plate was a slice of eggplant parmigiana (middling) with slices of salami and prosciutto or speck (excellent) or something (I can't remember, they have so many good cured meats around here). Next was a very cheesy risotto with asparagus. Then some little ravioli, filled with spinach, maybe? Finally, they brought pan-cooked fish (something white with silver skin) with vegetables and butter. And for dessert, a fruit cocktail with lemon ice. It was a very good meal.

Lunch Wednesday: still kinda full from the big dinner last night, I skipped the terrible sandwiches at the end of the workshop and just had a couple handfuls of almonds and some cheese sticks when I got back to the hotel.

Dinner Wednesday: went back to the German restaurant (La Baita) that Jerry had dinner at solo the previous night. He had wurst with spaetlze and lentils, and I had the leberkäaut;se with a fried egg and green salad (instead of potato salad) that he'd had previously. Thumbs up on both. Afterward, we got (small!) cones of gelato: limone for me, and ace (lemon, orange, and carrot) for him. I liked his, but it would've been too sweet for me to eat a whole scoop. My limone was very tart, and suited me well.

(Needless to say, I'm being flexible about eating low-carb while we're traveling in Forn Parts.)