“You know, I once saw an American TV show where someone was eating a fried Oreo.” This was the phrase that poured out my host in Torino’s mouth as we discussed the difference of food in each culture. I couldn’t help but laugh. Instantly, an image of Oreos, fries, chocolate, and dough being deep-fried at a county fair entered my mind. ‘In America, we can fry anything…even cheesesteaks,’ I thought.
“America, home of the fried,” I said out loud to my host.
As someone who was always on the bigger side, growing up, I made a vow two and a half years ago to give up deep fried foods. My only exception to the rule was tortilla chips. However, for two and a half years, fries and funnel cake never graced a single plate placed in front of me.
But my fast of fried food recently came to an end in Milan, Italy as I stepped into Luini, a famous shop in the heart of the city. The shop, recommended to me by the few people I knew to have spent extended amounts of time in Milan, is home to the very special panzerotti—fried pizza dough filled with deliciousness.
As a food connoisseur when it comes to Italy, I could not be a fried food snob when it came to this special establishment in Milan. So at noon, on a gloomy Saturday afternoon, I made my first unhealthy decision and ordered the most popular item on the menu: un panzerotto con pomodoro and mozzerella (with tomato and cheese).
Despite a crowded shop, full of noise, a smile remained on the worker’s face as she handed me the pocket full of goodness. As it entered my hands, I could feel it’s warmth in the bag. I slowly peeked into the bag to see a small knish-like figure staring me in the face.
I removed it from the bag, and then took my first bite. Melted cheese and tomato filled my mouth igniting my taste buds and alerting me that I had just bitten into one of the most simply brilliant creations…ever. I took my time to devour this fried fantasticness, and I watched as others did the same.
As I came to the end of the delightful dough, my next step should have been to walk away and bask in it’s wonderfulness.
But then I made my best second unhealthy choice…ever. I stepped onto the back of the line that was now flowing out of the tiny shop. Fifteen minutes later, I was indulging in my second panzerotto Only this time, I ordered a panzerotto con cipolle, olive, e pomodoro (onions, olives, and tomato). With each bite, I had forgotten my two year fried food fast. With each bite, I was in heaven, even though my diet was in hell. With each bite, I was delighted.
Now, with an empty wallet and a full stomach, I had no choice but to walk away from the establishment, and refrain from stepping back into line.
But that’s when I decided to make my final best unhealthy decision and head to the ATM for more money...just kidding.
Address: Via Santa Radegonda, 16
20121 Milan, Italy
+39 02 8646 1917
by Scott R. Kline