Tuesday, 5 July 2011

nutella nutella nutella

Having long legs, being blonde and looking Viking'esque in stature attracts a lot of attention in Italy...

...mainly male...
...of course!

Even 14 year old boys lean their heads dangerously out of the already unsteady cars swerving from side to side.

However, an even stranger, more alien concept is seeing a long legged, blonde, Viking'esque girl run up an almost vertical hill in the heat. I've found that this is a successful activity if I'm feeling a little needy, as it also gets the female population interested.

'So...I think I'm going to go for a run...'
'...but there are many hills?'

There is molto molto confusion about my exercise obsession, but I have picked up a few Italian customs though. I have learnt 'dolce far niente' which translates as the sweetness of doing nothing! To be impatient here would be a death sentence. I've even found myself standing knee deep in the sea at the beach like the others...just watching...

...watching what? Watching something? Am I thinking? Perhaps I'm thinking about myself standing here doing nothing? Italian ladies are pros at standing knee deep, and usually in deep conversation. Grandmothers stand knee deep watching their grandchildren, giving them the odd slap on the head if they're out of line. God knows what I'm standing there for? 

Anyway, back to business...it is very very thankful that I still love exercise because I have one MAJOR weakness...NUTELLA, and it seems I'm in the right place.

Food of the Gods!

So Nutella, Nutella, Nutella...it's creamy, nutty and chocolately...
Ring any bells?

Even the sweet treats in Italy seem somewhat 'healthier'! Ok, so there is A LOT of gelato (at least it's made properly), but when it comes to real families with kids, there are no big industrial sized packets of crisps in the cupboards. No mars bars, kit kats, big heavy cakes or other such things around. They tend to eat exactly what the grownups eat. They don't really fuss. They eat three meals a day and when they are fame (hungry) they have the odd snack. There isn't much dairy or saturated fat in their diet. Yes there is coca (coca cola) but limited amounts. There is fresh fruit juice and iced tea, but the main drink is water. The one thing everyone goes crazy for (as do I) is Nutella - and even that is marketed as healthy!. There is a realness and wholesomeness about Nutella don't you think? Nutella on thin crackers for breakfast or in the afternoon. It seems ok. At least it's not on thick spongy doughy white Hovis bread or smothered on fat cookies.

Time for a snack?
What is it about Nutella? Once in London, during a desperate attempt to satisfy my sweet craving, I bought a pot of Nutella to have a teaspoonful or two, or three, or four... It was the only thing I deemed respectable enough to eat.

...and while the parents were out, on holiday when I was 15, my friend and I cracked open a bag of cantucci biscotti and very carefully started to scrape at the inside of the Nutella pot!

Doesn't that sound better than a Krispy Kreme doughnut?!

A few thin crackers?

Nutella on crepes, Nutella gelato, Nutella everywhere. Even the lady in the humble frozen yogurt shop spreads it warmed with an artisan quality into the sides of a plastic cup before finishing with a dollop of icey creamy sharp white and more molton brown. These people take pride in their work, no matter how big or small.

p.s. they're not all saints. I have spotted a few tubby largo boys on the beach *snigger snigger.


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