Breakfast is one of the hardest times for me to be living in Italy. My Canadian breakfast consists of an Americano coffee and two pieces of toast with peanut butter, sometimes jam as well, if I have the time. In Italy, the Americano is easy to comeby, if not a tad embarrasing to order with an “American” accent, but the toast almost impossible, and the peanut butter, extremely difficult. Toast here seems to be like melba toast, pretoasted bread-like squares that have a long shelf life. This is not the soft, warm, toasty toast I crave. Peanut butter is not a fixture of the Italian childhood. That prize goes to Nutella. Everything in Italy tastes like a hazelnut.I have not been able to find peanut butter in any grocery store. For breakfast here, people eat sweet things; dry cakes called ciambellas, or tortes made with…nutella, or if in a cafe, brioche with marmelade in it. I do enjoy the marmellata brioche, but how often can one really eat a croissant for breakfast!
My mother, knowing I love peanut butter, sent me a care package with a dozen peanut butter packages. I brought one to work today, to eat on some bisquits. Yes, cookies are an acceptable form of breakfast here. The Chef had never had peanut butter before, everyone was intrigued by my rare food from a faraway land. She tried it, and declared “buona”. She didn’t expect it to be so flavourful. I did not finish the tiny little peanut butter package, but decided to save it for another day. Rationing peanut butter. I never thought I would do that.