Without hesitation I can say that one of my favorite travel destinations is Italy. In the days leading up I salivate as I plan my first meal of my go-to Italian delights and research regional cuisine that I will most certainly be trying. So, when I was recently in the Veneto region in the town of Vicenza I thought, “Yes! Venetian seafood!” The last time I was in Venice, my dining experiences were just fine. To be fair, I ate in very touristy areas and the better meal I did have was when my friend Kate and I ditched our travel companions. I was very eager for a dining upgrade during this trip, although, I wasn’t going to Venice, I was going to Vicenza a city a little more up in the hills. None the less, I had a pretty solid list of the cuisine I wanted to try.
Very excited, rice & peas? Hello! My family is Jamaican. Polenta e osei? Mouthwatering…. I’m a big game bird fan. Give me a quail, pheasant or Cornish Hen any day! But what I was particularly eager to try was the Baccalá all Vicentina. I love codfish, from Jamaican to Cuban to Italian….
Two weeks later — casually chatting about my trip during a meeting, someone asked me if I gorged myself on food. There was hesitation, I stuttered and grew nervous. “No… not really.” “Yea, where were you? Vicenza? Not great food over there, it’s like a strange mix of the surrounding areas.”
A sigh of relief! Finally, someone said it. Yes! It was almost blasphemous to be in Italy and hate on the food but ech, an extremely well-traveled friend agreed. Vicenza, WTF?! I flashed back to Min and I with unfinished plates of boiled cod and flavorless cakes of polenta. There were multiple pizza dinners, because frankly, that was the best thing in the region.
So there you have it. I am honestly saying, I had a trip to Italy where the food ranged from just fine to ech. But really? I’m still pretty lucky to be having pizza in this setting.