No Family without Meatballs

Food is not just sustenance for Italians. It is a passion and a way of life. “Eat to live” is not a thing. There was a TV commercial that I saw this week that really struck me. A mom was saying that she couldn’t make meatballs without the right sauce, and without meatballs, there would be no family. That is quite a statement. WITHOUT MEATBALLS THERE WOULD BE┬áNO FAMILY. The commercial ended with the family applauding the mom as she plunked down a huge plate of meatballs on the dinner table and a pre-teen girl appreciatively and genuinely saying “brava mamma“. So, yah, the family was cheering for the meatballs.

I actually really love this commercial. It makes me feel happy that this country has such an appreciation and love for food. It actually creates a bond with families that many of us harried Americans strive for, like the holy grail of the family dinner. In LA, Josh and I jumped through major hoops to be home so that we could all sit down together and have dinner. I was not thinking┬áthat there would be no family without meatballs. My thoughts were more around Trader Joe’s ready-made food, or if our babysitter had made our prearranged meal. I never got any applause at the table.

Fresh market veggies, color-coordinated of course.

When I go to the outdoor market to buy fresh produce here, I never touch a thing. The vendor always individually select each piece for me. When I buy small cakes at the bakery, they wrap the tray in two layers of paper and tie them with a bow. The same care is taken at the butcher and the small ready-made food shops.




A tray of small cakes wrapped up with a bow.

Italians are not all hand-making pasta anymore, but the shops that offer an alternative do so with great pride and quality.

I hope to take this appreciation for food back with me when we are in LA. Or, I might just be really, really happy that Trader Joe’s still makes frozen gnocchi.

This is not frozen Trader Joe’s gnocchi.