Italy vs USA

Happy Tuesday family and friends! I’ve been back in Italy for nearly two weeks, and let me just say, this transition was much more difficult than last time I “moved” here. Not sure why, but I’m back on the wagon and ready to share some of my comparisons of Italy to things we love in the good ‘ole US of A. There is one thing that is available in Italy and the USA though… betcha can’t guess what it is…

Tea of the day: Irish Breakfast
Brand: Twinings

Color: As with most teas I tend to drink, this one is quite brown. But more of a rich chocolate color, than dull muddy color.
Taste: This is the first of the “classics” in my Twinings variety box. If you have a stereotypical idea of what tea tastes like, this is it. It’s earthy but without being too bitter. The Irish Breakfast is to English Breakfast what dark roast is to medium roast in terms of coffee. It’s got some more body to it which really diminishes the need to add anything, unless that’s what you prefer.
Ideas for next time I have this: I LOVE adding honey to my tea, almost regardless of what flavor or brand I’m drinking. It’s a great way to add some sweetness without adding straight sugar and some health benefits. I might even see about “double-dipping” and brewing this with a flavored one to see if I can get a a fruity and earthy taste at one time, like the Country Peach Passion or Lemon Zinger.


If you think of something else you want to see compared, leave a comment! 🙂


Driving

So, imagine if were allowed to drive like Nascar on the freeway and not get in trouble. Passing people who went to slow even without an official lane to do it in. And don’t even worry about your turn signals; that’s too much energy. THAT’s the way people drive in in Italy…. on the autostrada (Italian highways) AND normal roads! Also, watch out for that moped, they’re the ones who pass cars the most often.

Most roads that aren’t the autostrada are 2- to 4-lane roads, so that means there’s no way to pass if someone is driving slow. If you think the speed limit of 45 MPH is slow on USA city roads, try 40 KPH (25 MPH)! And the autostrada is even worse! 70-80 MPH = 44-50 MPH. You’re probably thinking, “who even follows that!?” The answer: no one!

This is just my opinion because it is maddening to have a lower speed limit, fewer lanes, and crazier drivers. The only upside is this means my Nascar driver itch is being scratched. 😉 However, I do miss there being more reasonable speeds and space so…

Winner: USA


Travel

First off, the culture in Italy is amazing and so close to where we live. And the history and culture in Europe really isn’t that far either! Technically, Europe is larger than the USA, but that’s because we often forget that it includes a portion of Russia. The countries more commonly thought of when people they think of Europe are smaller and much closer together. Where we are in Italy, we can get to practically anywhere in Europe in about three hours. Our flight from Naples to Barcelona was literally one hour! And London is about two hours.

Not only is it closer, but the airfare totally rivals that of traveling within the US. I can visit several states for the same amount, usually less, that it costs me to visit a entirely different country. With the popularity of Airbnb, it’s easy to find accommodations without breaking the bank. I personally, prefer Booking.com, but we’ve had some major wins with Airbnb.

Winner: Italy


Heating

If you read the Top 5 Technology Things I’m Getting Used To post, you should have seen this one coming, haha. I miss central heating so much! I don’t know if it’s our type of radiators or what, but the ability to heat a room is pretty much non-existent unless the room is small and the door is closed. Still pretty attached to all the blankets and space heater. Luckily, it’s getting warmer during the day.

Winner: USA


Pizza

My first real job was at a pizza restaurant. I can remember eating pizza my entire life pretty much. I was a “just cheese” girl until I moved to Arizona. I literally had pepperoni one time because that’s all there was lol. Now, I’m open to more pizza toppings, but stay away from most veggies still haha. Anyway…

I’ve had thin, thick, medium (what I’d consider Domino’s and Papa John’s normal crust), and deep dish, but nothing has Italy beat. There’s just something about the dough here and the char from the wood-burning oven that gives it a more delicate flavor that doesn’t overpower any of the other parts other parts of the pizza, but rather perfectly compliments them. Maybe it’s because there’s less gluten in most of the flour produced? I only bring that up because I eat pizza 2-3 times a week and I LOST weight. The sauce is not heavy and the cheese is SO good! I love me some mozzarella slathered on a pizza but the bufala mozzarella is so indulgent it’s not necessary.

Let me say this. I had pizza a couple times when I was home recently, but the whole time I was craving the Italian version so…

Winner: Italy


Food variety

Did you know there’s Chinese food in Italy? And they’ve got sushi too. And Mexican food is slowly coming around. BUT there still isn’t quite the variety that is readily available in the US. I’m not saying that the variety in either place is 100% authentic (except the Italian here, lol), but my taste buds appreciate what’s offered more in the US.

I’ve yet to see other types of Asian cuisines, like Thai and Indian, here yet. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. And poki bowls haven’t made it over here yet. Still haven’t found a place that has boba tea. And chicken wings are few, far between, and not nearly as good. For a girl who didn’t start liking more spice until she was a legal adult, I’m surprised how much I miss the spice!

Winner: USA


Wine

I think this is a no brainer, haha. I’ve learned so much more about the wine-making process by touring different facilities. Did you know that white grapes have their skins removed before being fermented and red grapes retain their skins while fermenting? It’s pretty cool to see the vineyards and get walked through the process.

Being in the USA and not a huge wino, I was only introduced to the more popular varieties of wine. Cabernet sauvignon. Merlot. Pinot grigio. Pinot noir. Chardonnay. And literally, that’s all I could name before coming here. There’s so many more regions and types of grapes than I knew. Falanghina is my favorite white wine, and brunello is an amazing red! You can read more about my wine experience in Italy in my Favorite wineries in Italy – Ranked post.

I’ll definitely be shopping for a different selection of wines when I am living in the US again, and for that…

Winner: Italy


Coffee

Alright, considering I tried to avoid Starbucks as much as possible when I was living in the US, it was a real treat to have while I was home visiting. I may have indulged a few too many times, but we don’t have it in Italy, unless you buy the k-cups or coffee grounds at the commissary or something. Also, I do like having a larger cup of coffee rather than the smaller quantities offered at local Italian cafés. I mean, I have a Keurig at home for a reason and I order two cappuccinos for a reason when I go out. And coffee in the US is more expensive. Probably because of the quantity we drink it in, but regardless, I can get an entire pizza for the same cost as a grande frappuccino.

BUT there is one type of coffee that I have never seen in the US and even searched for while back home. I could not find it! I googled… asked coffee brewers… nothing. If you have been or go to Italy, order any type of coffee with ginseng. Ginseng cappuccino. Ginseng caffé. Ginseng moccacino. If you’re like me, it may sound weird, but I promise it’s SO good. My life won’t be the same when I leave here and I’m determined to find a way to bring this delightful caffeinated creation back with me. They aren’t any more or less expensive than other coffees, but they could be and I’d pay it!

Maybe it’s because I’m more of a tea drinker these days, and each country has their own qualities that outweigh each other…

Winner: TIE!


If you think of something else you want to see compared, leave a comment! 🙂


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2 thoughts on “Italy vs USA

  1. Comments from an avid tea drinker and wine specialist!!!
    I definitely would NOT mix an herbal tea, like the two you’ve mentioned with the Irish breakfast! The components that make it herbal will disrupt the natural flavor of the tea and make it bitter! Even adding honey will not fix it! If you want lemon in your Irish tea, then add lemon juice, not lemon herbal tea!

    Also, the removal of the skins from the grapes before fermentation is somewhat dependent on the grape varietal being used and the wine being produced.

    Like

    1. Some additional comments! So as not to sound too snooty in my previous comment, I’m glad you’re getting to experience the wonderful Italian wines! Along with France, some of the oldest and finest wines around!!! You will find that the common names we call our varieties often equate to the more romantic names in Italy!! I prefer the Italian names! Just seems we Americans need to keep it simple, which isn’t a bad thing!! So many to explore and taste!!! But you have a few years to give them a try! And you’ll find the region you prefer, too!!

      Like

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