Hello hello, Italian Kitchen’s friends!
I hope you had a beautiful EiD with your friends and family and you enjoyed this month of Ramadan. For sure, the most difficult challenge in Ramadan is fasting, but I believe you can agree with me in saying how beautiful is breaking the fast during the Iftar with all your friends and dear ones.
Iftar time is, indeed, a very unique moment: you gather all together and you all enjoy the pleasure of food and drink at the same time. It is a very strong human experience that connects all the people instantly.
There are few countries in the world where food is so a central part of the social life, but in one of them, it is extremely pivotal. You wanna guess which one is it? Well… Italy of course!!!
In Italy, food is a very powerful tool for social experiences. Indeed, people gather them self by eating every meal. Having dinner alone? That really really sad! Your friends would invite themselves to your place to have dinner with you if they know you are having dinner alone! As well as the fact of sitting all together and starting the meal at the same moment is really important. Even if you have a lunch/dinner later but you are in a room with somebody eating, you will seat with her and have even a little bit of food, just to share the moment of eating. Does it sound familiar to you? Of course, because you are Bangladeshis, and our cultures are very close ☺
Indeed, it is impressive to see how Italians and Bangladeshis are similar in any aspect of their culture. Actually, all my friends claim Italians are the Bangladeshis of south-Europe XD LOL!
Anyway, where there are similarities, there are even differences. I like to think that EiD for Muslims is somehow like the Christmas for Christians. I don’t wanna make any comparison in terms of religion but in terms of food culture.
In Italy, Christmas is definitely a very nice moment of the year, but it is very challenging as well! About 2/3 weeks before the 25th, everybody starts inviting you to some dinner/party/event/WTF thing where you are gonna be totally covered with food. And of course, you have to do the same and invite people over. The problem with all these events is that your physical ability to handle food is definitely stressed out! You eat all the time: that’s hard… But like in every respectable story, the worst comes at the end: the 25th of December.
Likely, you will approach the 25th with a solid dinner on the 24th, when you had seen that half of the family you won’t be able to see the day after. Then consider this: lunch starts n average at 12 pm and ends at around 4.30pm. Still fear, you would say. But here comes the trap: for some reason, I still wonder why everybody in the family feels the need of preparing some “special” recipe for Christmas and share it with the family. The whole family. Compulsory. And you are in it.
So now imagine a dinner with around 25/30 people, where most of them approach you with the “amazing” dish they prepared, just after the multiple mains your grandma prepared during the whole previous week and tell you: “you have to try this: it’s my SPECIAL recipe!!!” and they serve you a meal-sized portion of something very fat and heavy and they look at you waiting for you to eat it to have their feedback in return. And you have to appreciate it: “wow… it is very good!”. And in the unfortunate case you show too much interest, you win a double portion of the same! Now apply this to all the lovely people who prepared a main and it will turn the Christmas lunch in a food battlefield (I am a very mean person ahah).
Ok ok, maybe I am emphasizing this moment a bit, but I can guarantee you that it is almost like that!
In any case, I guess you know this feeling as I guess you lived this too! Hence, get prepared mentally if one day an Italian invites you for a Christmas lunch, It is gonna be legendary… wait for it.. dary!!!!