If Only I Could Have Eaten My Way Through School

That cartoon light bulb sometimes appears over my head when I eat certain things; food is strongly connected with my memories. Ask me anything about high school calculus and I will probably stare at you blankly. But let me eat my way through Little Italy in NYC to find that amazing, hole-in-the-wall joint where I had that lasagna on our high school trip to the city, and I am sure I could tell you (or I would at least have fun looking for it).

Most of my memories of eating studying around Europe are connected with food. It was not only the food itself, but what was happening around us, the weather, how we were feeling, the people we were with, whether we were upset or happy or sick or drunk. Cantaloupe gelato in Bergamo, Italy. Proscuitto wrapped melon in Venice. And I can’t forget the bus ride out of Venice and the urgency with which I asked the bus driver to stop at the next exit. Too much vino and partying the night before? Of course not. I just needed some air. Ah-em.

I remember the potato soup and “mean green bean salad” (as I called it) that I cooked at a friend’s apartment while her French host parents were on vacation. American girls shopping for ingredients and cooking in a French kitchen. Yep, dream. What I learned in school that day? I couldn’t tell you. But every time I make potato soup, I think about that French apartment. It’s a memory so clear, it was like it happened yesterday.

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