Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ocean Spray

Living in Italy, there are a lot of food items you learn to miss. It's weird--coming over here to the taste of tasty sauces and pastas, lasagne, vincisgrassi (vegetarian style), pizzas with every possible topping, you think anything that might have once delighted your taste buds before will be old news by the time you sink into Italian culture. But it's not true. This doesn't happen completely. There are things that you are reminded of, tastes that you can't find here, and, in half-nostalgia and half-'I-really-do-love-Ranch-dressing,' you begin to long for particular foods.

I could make a list of things I miss, but one thing that surely tops it is cranberry juice. It's one of those things that you can't really find in Italy--no one has heard of that rare fruit, mirtilli rossi, besides me. I love the tangy flavor, the crisp red color, the fruit in general. I found dried cranberries here, which has been a bit of a help, and I've added them to cookies, put them in trail mix, and sometimes just eaten them on their own. I've had cans of that cranberry sauce stuff sent me--you know, the kind used for Thanksgiving. It's great too, but I only eat it in November--any other time of the year seems just too strange.

So I've been missing cranberry juice, and for some reason the only kind of juice I really like is Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice. No, I'm not being paid to say this. Really, I don't like that cranberry cocktail stuff--the mixes between cranberry and blueberry and apple and grape. Why do they need to put all of those other fruits there? I like straight cranberry juice, and I've only yet to see that as Ocean Spray brand.

So two weeks ago, when Lori arrived to stay for a couple of days with us before her classes started in Milano, she brought me a carton of cranberry juice. Ocean Spray brand. It was like a little miracle--cranberry juice in Italy! Apparently there's a store in Milan (what DON'T they have in that little world of a city?) that sells American stuff and Asian stuff and Greek stuff and a bit of everything. Lori says the place even has veggie burgers and filo dough! Anyway, when she told me about the Ocean Spray juice, I was sold: please please buy me a bottle! I asked her. (I wanted bagels too, but they didn't have any left.)

Anyway, I had a carton of Ocean Spray cranberry juice for a total of three days before I drank the whole thing. It was wonderful, delicious. It was also great to see Lori, of course, who was here visiting us for four days. Her visit meant nights out at Le 4 Porte and Bar Firenze (the college hang out bars), something Antonello and I don't ever do (I feel so old!), as well as a pal to constantly gabber to in English, another rarity in this little city. Lori was my roommate three years ago, so every time she visits it's like that again--not having a house guest, but having my old roomie back.

Antonello and I are heading up to Bergamo this weekend for a caving convention (more news to blog about soon, I'm sure), and maybe that will mean seeing Lori over the long weekend and drinking (and stock up on) cranberry juice? I hope so!

Next blog entry: I miss salsa.



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At 12:51 PM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

Yesterday I was missing chocolate and peanut butter. Since there are NO peanut butter cups in sight (as you know) I opted to make my first batch of peanut butter fudge. It was wonderful and turned out almost like my Mom's.

Just as I was wiping the chocolate from my face (while slipping into a sugar induced coma) the door bell range. A package from America. Can you guess what my Mom sent for Halloween?


I will be in heaven for at least a week!

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

that's great cyndi! The chocolate-peanut butter fudge sounds delicious too. we just got peanut butter cups in a pacco from corrie the other day, and we are also very grateful--we were just about out :).

see you soon!



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