Friday, June 19, 2009

Sometimes I Dream in Italian

It is getting close to the two year anniversary of my departure with my fellow Nidos to the "motherland". I pulled out my pictures and momentos the other night and it brought back a flood of just "feel good" moments and reminded me of 16 days of bliss. Laura just got back from her trip to Italy as well and I cannot help but be reminded of the two weeks in which I lived the Italian lifestyle and took in the sites, sounds, flavors and history of such a magical place. Some may think I am crazy but my 2007 vacation was life changing and I am constantly reminded of how lucky I was to be able to experience it in full.
I like to think that the Italian culture is appreciated in America as it seems that one of my favorite Italian treats has made its way to Charlotte! On Wednesday, my dear friend Crystal and I went to Cafe Mia in Birkdale Village for some after dinner gelato! It reminded me of walking on the old cobblestone streets in Florence wearing completely oversized sunglasses that one can only get away with in Italia, with my gelato in hand. Not only did it taste exquisite but the gelaterie had all of the flavors that we found in Italy! When ordering gelato, it's very common to enjoy two scoops in two different flavors...twice as nice! I chose straciatella which is the equivalent of chocolate chip and my personal favorite, nutella, a chocolate hazelnut concoction! Crystal went for the fruit variety of gelato, also known as "sorbetto" in blackberry pomegranate and kiwi that was absolutely divine! Other flavors on their menu included Tiramisu, Coconut, Butterscotch and Nocciola, which is a rich hazelnut. If I could walk to Cafe Mia from my apartment, I would be in big trouble. And so would my waistline! Thankfully, it's a 35 minute drive up I-77 North...

After our sweet Italian scoops, we made our way downtown for the Juliane Hough (who is as cute as a button!) concert at Whiskey River's 1 year anniversary party. Such a fun little love muffin date!! This was absolutely the highlight of my week!
Now, a little bit of history...

Gelato was founded in Florence, Italy and is made using the same ingredients as ice cream; milk or cream, sugar, flavor and most importantly- air, for that cloud-like, creamy & dreamy texture. Gelato was a daily treat during my trip to Italy and looking back, I wish I would have collected my spoons so that i could have kept a count of how many scoops I ate...then again, maybe not! At times I felt like I was eating my way through Italy but much to my surprise and delight, I actually lost 3 pounds while across the pond.


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