In Italy we say:”Chi mangia solo muore solo” which translates to “Who eats alone dies alone“. It is more fun eating together and food tastes even better if you are sharing it with people you like and feel good with.
Recently my sister Laura graduated in Media and she is now working in hectic Milan. To celebrate we went to a fish restaurant and we invited a few relatives and friends.
In Italy when you graduate you wear a laurel wreath on your head, a tradition that has remote origins dating back to Roman times.
During Roman times those who distinguished themselves in specific fields like poets, victorious generals and emperors were crowned with a circular ornament made of interlocking twigs of Bay Laurel on their head during the festive celebration and religious festivals.
So here she is, Laura really proud wearing her wreath.
As a fish-obsessed family of course we could not choose anything different to a fish restaurant and I photographed some of the dishes.
Our starter was a platter of prawns, shrimps, crayfish tails with swordfish carpaccio. This goes well with Italian Breadsticks (grissini).
We had barbecued scallops cooked in their shells. You get this often in fish restaurants in Italy. I think they are the best shellfish you can possibly choose: they are sweet, juicy, tender and meaty and their flavour is fab when they are barbecued. Italians love to cook fish in this way.
Lunch went well, there was lots of chatting and laughing going on.
A seafood, saffron and ginger risotto was served and it was very creamy and delicate indeed. I always keep saffron in my cupboard and I add a few stems to risottos as it improves their flavour a great deal.
A platter of grilled squid tasted divine and it was really tender.
Incredibly, all the food I always crave was there!
I enjoyed mopping the juices with bread after eating this fab pot of mussels..
And after a melon sorbet which I found quite interesting we had the celebratory cake: a classic puff pastry cake with lots and lots of chocolate mousse and creme patisserie made by the chef at the restaurant just a couple of hours before the meal, topped off with a chocolate mortar board (hat)!. You could tell the cake was fresh by the crunchiness of the puff pastry.
I had two generous slices of this..yum!
In Italy there is a tradition of handing out “confetti” or almond sweeties to guests. They can be pink or blue for a christening, white for weddings, silver or gold for silver and golden anniversaries and red for master degrees.
Red is the colour of a degree graduation. So Laura handed out hers in a cute hat looking box.
Well done Laura!