First of all, let me just say this. I love both Chinese  food  and  Italian   food .  Don’t get all excited and start thinking I am bashing on any particular culture. I am not; in fact I am attempting to take a man’s view on cooking  Italian .   Both styles are mega delicious and should be consumed in great quantities.

  1.  Italian  wine: Need I say more? Ever hear of a good Chinese wine? I think not.  Maybe a Saki, but as far as I am concerned, it’s an acquired taste.
  2. Complexity: Husbands who don’t venture into the kitchen much tend to feel more comfortable with something not as complex. Spaghetti and meatballs is really not too tough.
  3. Lots of variations: You can start with any kind of pasta, dump anything on top of it, and you have transformed the ordinary into the extraordinary. Anything in your pantry or refrigerator is fair game.
  4. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are beautiful. They come in so many varieties, and can be spiced in so many ways. How can you not like them?
  5. Simple ingredients: We have very good Chinese friends who invited us to dinner once. She asked me to grab something out of the refrigerator for her while she was creating our culinary delight. Upon opening the refrigerator, I saw items that I have never seen in my refrigerator before. There was funky plant life and animal parts that I did not think you could buy much less eat. This was one well stocked unit but I would have to imagine it would take a while to buy all those ingredients.  Italian  refrigerators seem a little simpler. Besides, gizzards and chicken feet just don’t work for me.
  6. Neater noodles:  Italian  noodles are just more fun to me. You get all kinds of noodles in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You can buy them in boxes and bags or make them yourself. Chinese noodles, while delicious, seem to have less variety.
  7. Easy to make: For some reason I just can’t get my white Anglo Saxon attempt at Chinese food to taste authentic. I never seem to have the one ingredient that creates the magic touch. In  Italian  cooking, I have  everything I need,( which is the fab four: olive oil, onions garlic and basil), and it is usually just comes down to adding more of “this” or “that’
  8. Impersonations: I just don’t do a good imitation of an Asian, but I can get you going with my rendition of  Vieto ala beanie. Everyone can do a good  Italian  imitation. This is the part where cooking is becomes fun. (its easier to make fun of your own) I love to entertain my children with my cheesy attempts at cultural   impressions. It’s better received to kiss your fingertips in appreciation than to muster up a large belch.
  9.  Italian   food  tastes better the next day: My grandmother would make sauce, but we were never allowed to  eat it until the next day. That’s because all the flavors came together while it sat overnight in the refrigerator after assembly. What I once thought was a cruel thing to do to a boy, turned out to be a rewarding exercise in patience. (check out our pasta fagioli, most excellent the next day)

And the number one reason….(Actually #10)

Garlic: As far as I am concerned, garlic is the center of the universe. I can’t get enough of it. I love the smell of it, I like it on my hands, I like the way it smells in the kitchen, I like it on bread, in sauce, on pizza or in pesto.  Heck if I could get away with garlic sheets on the bed. (you get the idea)   Italians  love to cook with it and its versatility is certainly bound to make it the signature of any dish. Sauté’ some with some onions and olive oil, it can make a grown man cry.

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