Viva Italia.

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Molto Bene. Delizioso. Gustoso.

I struggle to find the best words to describe it. My Grandma’s lasagna, our family’s bolognese sauce, the taste of my roots.  Pasta, tortellini, risotto…

Perfetto.

Part of me knows I’ll never be able to replicate it, but another part will never cease to try.

The one thing I will never be able to replicate is the hard work that goes into each recipe. The hours spent kneading the dough, tediously rolling each noodle. With my Manhattan lifestyle, I have neither the time nor the space for such a Herculean effort (Greek reference…my other piece of heritage!).

It is for that reason the existence of Eataly has changed my life!

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As I mentioned in my last post, my dad was visiting this past weekend. Could there possibly be a better place to take him, a man who’s first and only language until the age of six was Italian?! I didn’t think so.

Eataly is located on the outskirts of Madison Square Park…

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…in the heart of New York’s historic Flatiron District.

With an unassuming facade, its a small entrance to a hidden world. As I walked in, my senses were bombarded with the sights, smells and sounds of a European style market.

Paninis being grilled, cappuccinos being poured, gelatos being served. The front section alone was enough to have you salivating.

In those first few steps, I was instantly transported back to my summer in Europe. The look and feel of Eataly mimicking my experience with similar markets in Madrid.

There are visitors coming to browse, soaking in the smells of unfamiliar foods. Locals stopping by, looking to share good conversation over a bite to eat. And the ambitious shoppers, attempting to bring the taste of Italy into their homes. A happy mix of locals and tourists, all sharing in their love for fresh food.

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We worked our way through the maze, each turn unveiling a new wing of delicacies. What I simply couldn’t get over was the sheer vastness of this place. Wing after wing, section after section. No ingredient went unrepresented. Amidst the crowded chaos, surrounded by delicious things, I took pictures that don’t even begin to do it justice.

Formaggio e Proscuitto…

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Pesci e Carne…

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e molto altro ancora.

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Oh, and how could I forget…

Pasta!

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Every possible noodle you can imagine. Even some I’ve never heard of! All in one place, all begging to be eaten. They might as well have just handed me a fork.

I was touched to see that each noodle was hand-rolled in the same painstaking fashion I had watched my grandma do so many times before. Taught to her by her mother, and grandmother before that.

Tradition. Kept alive here for everyone to share.

My trip to Eataly made me realize it may be time to dig up our sacred family recipe after all. Lasagna a la Bolognesa. Put aside my fear of falling short, not making it “exactly right”.

I will never be able to replicate the TLC that went into my Grandma’s noodles, or the joy I had from watching her make them. But Eataly has given me viable alternative to carrying on our tradition.

At least until I get a bigger kitchen…

xoxoelenamichelle-200

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