QUARANTINE DIARIES, COMFORT FOOD & ALL THE SMALL THINGS THAT KEEP US GOING
A short interview with Stef, from Bologna. He is sharing some invaluable tips on the Italian club sandwich: Tramezzino.
A few words about you and where did the quarantine find you?
My name is Stef, I live in Bologna, Italy and I work as a production manager for concerts and theatrical events. We were among the first to experience the quarantine measures in Italy since the northern part of our region is neighbouring with the infection’s “ground zero”. Nothing too hard as in towns and villages where the virus hit harder, but still we’ve been at it for about a month now and with no clear end in sight.
What did it change for you ?
I’d say it slowed my life down a lot, most of my work relies on crowded places and those were the first to get shut down, even before the magnitude of the situation became clear. At first it was hard since my life stopped but the rest of the world moved on, but when the standstill hit everything I must admit I relaxed a bit. I’m not a very social person so in a sense I somehow enjoy this isolation.
How many loo-rolls can you count in your cupboards?
Not many actually, here in Bologna there wasn’t any toilet paper rush since in Italy a bidèt is essential in any home. The shortages hit sanitizing gels, latex gloves and condoms (don’t get excited, they use them as finger gloves). Other than that, besides a shopping rush in the beginning, we’ve been lucky thanks to the supermarket system carrying on without any major hickups
Comfort food: Tramezzino, the Italian club sandwich
I’d go for Tramezzino, which is essentially an italian club sandwich. You can do it any way you want it as long as it includes a spread, some cheese slices and meat or veggie option. It’s quick and easy for the times you need a tasty pick me up that doesn’t require any long preparation. Here’s my personal favourite recipe for it:
You need to slices of crust free toast bread, preferably not treated with alcohol
First you spread some Philadelphia style cream cheese on both slices, my personal favourite is with herbs but any will do.
Next you add one or two slices of smoked ham, just enough to cover one slice
Repeat the proces with some sweet provolone cheese slices
The cut in half 2 cherry tomatoes and leave the a few minutes on some kitchen paper to remove some of their water.
Add them to the garnished sliced and repeat the cheese and ham process on top.
Close the sandwich with the other bread slice and cut it diagonally in two triangles
How do you cope?
I try to keep myself busy most of the time. Before all this my usual spare time was Netflix and chill, and now I do my best to avoid doing it more than before. I do some mock translations to keep my brain going, I try to cook a bit more to hone some skills I rarely used before and keep my reflexes up with some fast paced videogames or music recording.
I should add some workout to the list but nah, I can’t overcome that laziness.
Where will you go eat once this madness is over?
Since italians are incredibly racist they pretty much forced Asian restaurants to close since Christmas by just not going or ordering. So I’ve been missing this tiny Japanese restaurant near my place run by two actual Japanese ladies that besides sushi, does some killer bento boxes. I have a fondness for the eel and rice one.
Share a wish, just so we can finish on a happy note.
I hope we all come out of this not with a lesson learned, but with an appreciation of our life and what we do to make it worth living since we sometimes lose sight of those things in our hectic daily lives.
from Bologna with love,
PS: If you wish to be part of my quarantine cuisine diaries and share your experience on Eat Yourself Greek (EYG), please drop me a line here. Thanks, Eugeniaby