Thanks to Eliza Gordon, a junior currently studying abroad in northern Italy, for this Italian cheese testimonial:

I knew my addiction was bad when I started eating mozzarella cheese for breakfast. Not just any mozzarella cheese, but mozzarella di buffala that I buy in bucket form (literally a plastic bucket of cheese) from the grocery store down the street. The cibo (food) in Bologna, and especially the food where cheese is involved, is on a different level than any other food I have consumed. Even the pasta from a box that I make for myself in my own kitchen is better than the pasta from most Italian restaurants at home. Bologna is known as the food capital of Italy, especially for its traditional rich pasta dishes with heavy meat or creamy cheese sauces. I have been exploring the city in terms of the food that it has to offer, and from cooking classes to restaurants to the food market, I am creating a very detailed and delicious map.

Last night I went out to dinner at a trattoria- a restaurant where they hand-make many of their dishes from start to finish- called Incrocia Montegrappa. I had two of the most delectable dishes that I have had since I have been in Italy, both of which unsurprisingly involved cheese. The first was a mixed cheese plate with five different types of Italian cheeses and three home made marmalades to go with each cheese. There was red onion marmalade, pumpkin marmalade, and kiwi marmalade. This reflects two things that I have learned about Italy – 1. Italy is the world’s second largest exporter of kiwi and 2. Italian cooking is focused around only using fruits and veggies that are in season, like pumpkin. My main course was tortelloni con crema di gorgonzola ai noci. When you think of tortellini, multiply them in size by about three and you will have tortelloni. They were filled with ricotta (which is not considered cheese in Italy because it does not contain the proper amount of fat) and they were covered in a gorgonzola and walnut cream sauce. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal.

When I leave Italy in about a month and a half I know I am going to have serious issues with withdrawal from the food. Until then, I will keep navigating around the food in Bologna and I will definitely continue eating mozzarella for breakfast.

Gordon is a member of the Class of 2011. She is studying at the Università di Bologna through the Wesleyan-Wellseley-Vassar Program program in Bologne, Italy. ‘Notes from Abroad’ is a Blargus feature dedicated to sharing Wesleyan students’ international escapades, in an effort to keep study abroad experiences less disparate from life at Wesleyan.

About gpalmer

Gianna Palmer is a senior English and Sociology major from Eugene, Oregon. At Wesleyan, Gianna has written for the Argus and Wesleying, and tutored through the Writing Workshop. Outside of Wesleyan, Gianna has interned/written for Preservation Magazine in Washington, D.C. and the New York Daily News. Besides heading up the Blargus, Gianna is keeping busy her senior year by doling out funds as a member of the Student Budget Committee, dancing in student-choreographed pieces and scoping out the class of 2014 as a senior interviewer in the Admissions Office.
  • Peggy Bonelli

    Dear Eliza,
    As you are discovering Italia is addictive! My daughter studied in Firenze her junior year and just barely made it back for her senior year and then right back to Italy. She has been living there for 11 years -4 in Rome, 6 in Bologna and tha last in Bologna and Milan. I have visited many times and fully understand your food experience. I am addicted to the fresh ricotta. I live in CT and would love to hear more about your experience there. Enjoy your last weeks. Peggy

  • Ruby-Beth

    This is so great! love this!

  • Anonymous

    Eliza – I love your passion! You write beautifully as well. Hope you are having fun. love, betsy

  • Samantha Pop

    Can’t wait for you to share some recipes when you return!

  • Ann Pfeiffer

    I think you should tell about Thanksgiving dinner in Bologna with pictures of all the Wesleyan students in attendance. It was memorable.