Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mambo Italiano

I snagged a Groupon to the Italian Expo, so Nathan, Graham, and I went for a few hours today. I was excited for some free samples (a theme in my life, I think), cool cars, and cooking demonstrations, but mostly the free samples--which were supposed to include wine (no thank you) AND food.

Me in my Fiat. See how the hood's up? Broke down in the middle of the convention center during the Italian expo of all places!

Since moving to Houston (i.e. the "real world"), I've been astounded by the amount of energy and money people spend on alcohol. Happy hours all the time, huge wine and liquor sections at the grocery stores full of folks who know as much about wine as I do about the Book of Mormon (that makes me sound pious, but I realized that alcohol consumes about as much brain power and money as my religion does).

A part of me kind of feels left out of this extra food group I never knew about--I don't want to drink any of it, I just wish that as a Mormon I had an exclusive food group--oh wait, I do! Food storage food! Where they have mojitos, I have powdered orange drink mix! I counter their aged brandy with a twenty-year shelf life fifty-gallon drum of red wheat! Instead of completing my meal with Chardonnay, I have church cannery beef chunks! Ha!

Unfortunately for all of us, there was no food storage fare at the expo today. I'll tell you what there was, though: gallons and gallons of wine at about fifty different booths. And about four food booths. I got some Italian candy (Ferrero Rocher-delish!), meats (salami and prosciutto), crackers (uh, crackers), and balsamic vinegar (in glaze form, a "reduction," meaning waaay powerful) with no bread to dip in it! Also I got some pasta and cheese.

At the cheese booth I was called out for cutting in line. In my defense, I don't think a massive crowd rotating around the room from booth-to-booth constitutes a line. Besides--I had to skip all the wine booths! I got to have some $18/lb truffle cheese, which I wanted desperately to like, considering my deep-seated desire to be a foodie, you know. But it was weird and burly (not something you want your cheese to be), even though the vendor boasted that it was very exclusive, "made by a father-daughter pair." How the relation between the cheesemakers could have any effect on the taste of the product was lost on me, but it made me feel trendy and Italian--I think I developed an accent that cheese was so strong.

Graham charming the socks off the sauce display
Included in our Groupon was "two complimentary pizzas." Lies! Our coupons got us two slices of pizza. Delicious pizza it was, but it would have tasted better to my soul if it was a whole pizza! We got to eat it on a trendy, bright red Italian couch, though.

We bought gelato (no free samples, pout) from a beautiful, angry Italian woman. Then, as we went to purchase a cannoli, a nice man gave us his remaining tickets (the monetary system of the expo, nonrefundable) to get one for free! What a nice old fellow! He even told us the cannolis were very fresh, having been stuffed just that morning. It's awesome how if you know your food is supposed to taste superior, it does.

Favorite part of the expo: coming back from using the restroom to see my guys laughing with each other.

My favorites


  1. Our lives are connected!(don't be scared) Yesterday it was the salmon, today, cannolis. You ate a cannoli and I made a rather lovely sugar free cannoli pudding for myself today. I can hardly wait to see what we're eating tomorrow!

  2. Oh, and Grammy is so cute, I could EAT him, but luckily, he exceeds my 5oz per meal limit......

  3. I love these kinds of fairs, more for people-watching than anything else!


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