Let's Eat

I looked it up. The World Health Organization says the U.S. is the 19th fattest country in the world, because 34% of Americans are medically obese. Italy is the 88th fattest, with 21% of Italians medically obese.

Each day, Italians eat colazione (breakfast), merenda (snack), pranzo (dinner, the main meal of the day), another merenda, and cena (supper). Americans traditionally eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Increasingly, they eat extra snacks like the Italians, though many now skip breakfast.

A full Italian dinner, usually eaten only on special occasions, has the following courses. 1) Aperitivo, a small wine or liqueur with olives, nuts, or crackers. 2) Antipasto, cold sliced meats, vegetables, finger sandwiches. 3) Primo, which means the first course because the little ones before this don’t count, pasta. 4) Secondo, the main course of meat or fish with cooked vegetables. 5) Contorno, a separate vegetable side dish, served alongside the secondo. 6) Insalata, a course of leafy green salad with oil and vinegar. 7) Formaggi e frutta, an arrangement of sliced cheeses and sliced fruit or grapes. 8) Dolce, dessert, usually quite sweet. 9) Caffè, a quick, hot shot of expresso. 10. Digestivo, an Amaro, Grappa, or the like—herbal liqueurs to aid digestion of all those previous courses. An ordinary daily noon meal will usually leave out a few of the smaller courses, lessening the time to eat but not many of the calories.

There’s an old saying, “It’s not how much you eat. It’s what you eat.” I guess so.