Sei buono come il pane is an Italian expression meaning that you are as good as bread: wholesome, longed-for and appreciated. Italians take their carbohydrates very seriously, dough is much more than a vehicle for tomatoes on a bruschetta, cheese on a pizza or pasta sauce. It’s fundamental throughout the meal from the moment you sit down at the table. If you’re in the North, you’ll get a cup full of grissini – long skinny crunchy breadsticks that can be close to toothpick thin and comically long. In Tuscany, you’ll get a basket of unsalted bread with super chewy crust and in Sicily, you’ll get some thick yeasty bread with sesame seeds.
Not being able to go to Italy this year makes me especially nostalgic for the little things I love, I’m particularly reminiscent of the most inherent component of Italian cuisine: pane, bread. While living in Florence, I worked early morning shifts at a five-star hotel, I remember mornings scrambling not to be late, frantically pedaling on my bike along the Arno River, out of breath, inhaling the nearly intoxicating aroma of schiacciata (Tuscan focaccia), cornetti (Italian croissants) and pagnotte (loaves of bread) in the air from surrounding bakeries.
Bread is the foundation of Italian culture from Biblical times to the present. Since we can’t go to Italy, let me guide you, region by region through the different styles, history and food anecdotes on bread in Italy.
Here’s what you’ll get:
A deep dive into Italian cities and their histories through the lens of bread.
Essential food vocabulary in Italian.
Insight on how Italian bread is traditionally ingrained into its culture. (pun intended)
Preparation for your future trip: current carbohydrate trends in Italy.
Recommendations for finding the best Italian-style bread in Manhattan and Brooklyn areas (and it’s not Eataly!)
Cost: $20, with $5 off with each friend you bring along
When: Time and date will be determined according to participants’ availability. If you can't make it to the first session, there will be another!
What: Bread, in all its delicious Italian forms. Gluten frees are welcome!
Un saluto affettuoso,