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Monday, June 24, 2024

The place’s the Parmigiana? – CET Tutorial Applications

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Written by Timothy Galamaga  (Bowdoin Faculty), Scholar Correspondent for CET Siena, Fall 2023

My coronary heart sank to the ground. I refused to imagine the phrases that had simply left Federica’s mouth; it was among the worst information I may presumably obtain on my first night time in Siena. “No rooster parmigiana? Are you positive?” I requested. “Si,” she replied, “I don’t suppose this dish is Italian. I’ve by no means heard of it.”

Not Italian? She needed to be mistaken. Rising up in New England, I had come to know rooster parmigiana as one of many staples of Italian delicacies. It could possibly be discovered on each Italian restaurant’s menu from the Boston North Find yourself via the coast of Maine. It additionally occurs to be my all-time favourite dish. Hen parm and pasta, rooster parm subs, sandwiches, calzones… I adore it all. So, I used to be devastated when Federica, one of many Italian roommates CET paired us with this semester, advised me that rooster parmigiana was not frequent on this area of Italy, and particularly not in Siena. “However Tim, the meals in Italy… it’s superb. You can be amazed at what you discover.” 

Whereas I used to be definitely disenchanted in regards to the obvious lack of rooster parmigiana in Siena, Federica was completely right. Even inside the first few days of residing in Siena, I used to be amazed by how simple it was to seek out unbelievable meals on virtually any road within the metropolis. Nevertheless, what I used to be much more shocked by was how simple it was to eat some unbelievable meals made within the consolation of my very own residence. My Italian roommate Leonardo, upon listening to how distressed I used to be about not with the ability to take pleasure in my favourite Italian dish, provided to prepare dinner up a meal for me and our different roommate Gray. I used to be hesitant at first. All I noticed prepped on the counter was some rooster breast, two tomatoes, a scallion, a bag of pasta, and a few pepper and olive oil. I had a tough time believing no matter dish Leo was about to arrange would fulfill my rooster parm craving. I couldn’t have been extra mistaken. 

A CET Siena roommate cooking in the kitchen
Leo on the range

He moved with precision and intention within the kitchen. The swift dicing of the scallion, the peerlessly sized pinch of salt into the pot of boiling water, Leonardo was a seasoned veteran. Utilizing a single pan, Leo fried up the rooster with some olive oil and scallions, after which added the tomatoes and a splash of white wine. The aromas emanating from that pan had been not like something I’ve ever smelled earlier than. I used to be entranced. Inside a couple of minutes, the greens and rooster had simmered down into what seemed like a salsa, and Leo set to work on the pasta. “Al dente?” he requested, nodding in my route. I’m no knowledgeable with regards to cooking pasta; a microwaved bowl of Kraft mac and cheese is a ten out of ten in my e-book. So, I simply nodded again at Leo and responded, “Si” as if that was the plain reply.

After draining the pasta in a strainer following a couple of minutes of boiling, Leo then set to work on making ready the person plates for the three of us. With three swift scoops, Leo completely portioned out the pasta into three bowls after which added the combination of rooster and veggies on high. Then he took out a big slice of cheese from the fridge, gave it a whiff, a fast nod of approval, after which grated it on high. “Okay, time to eat,” he mentioned, motioning in the direction of the desk.

A dish of home cooked pasta with a fork in it
Leo’s pasta creation

“Do you prefer it?” Leo requested. Gray and I nodded and gave him an enthusiastic thumbs up, our mouths too filled with scrumptious pasta to supply a verbal response. Each a part of the dish labored in concord. “What’s the identify of this recipe?” I requested Leo. “There isn’t any identify,” he responded, “I simply made what was within the fridge.” I couldn’t imagine it. Utilizing simply spare elements in our fridge and his instincts, Leonardo singlehandedly made the perfect bowl of pasta I had ever had in my life. All of a sudden, the shortage of rooster parmigiana in Siena didn’t trouble me as a lot. 

Considered one of my favourite elements about learning in Siena via the CET program is the day by day cultural immersion that comes from residing with an Italian roommate. I used to be extremely grateful to Leo for being prepared to prepare dinner a meal for us. I stay up for experiencing extra Italian meals that he prepares and displaying him a few of our favourite staples in America. Fortunately, a few of my fellow American college students within the CET program are nice cooks that I can name on to offer me some ideas at any time when I determine to make a meal for Leo and Gray. 

Chicken parmigiana dish with a fork and knife in it
Hen parmigiana

One scholar particularly that involves thoughts is Nick, a Bostonian who has a knack for cooking up some really superior meals. On the finish of our first week in Siena, Nick referred to as Gray and I to ask us over for some dinner that he ready. The principle course? Hen Parmigiana. I virtually sprinted to his residence, desirous to attempt Chef Nick’s creation. It didn’t disappoint, and I used to be totally impressed with Nick’s cooking abilities. I used to be additionally immensely grateful to Nick for providing slightly style of house whereas we had been adjusting to residing on a brand new continent for the semester. Attending to share meals with my Italian roommate and the opposite American college students within the CET program is already considered one of my favourite elements of this examine overseas expertise to this point. I stay up for attempting extra unbelievable delicacies with this implausible group whereas out in Siena and perhaps even in our residence utilizing my very own cooking abilities. 

Ciao (Goodbye) for now!

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