Granita di Caffe con Panna {Espresso Granita with Whipped Cream}

granita di caffeYou need a pick-me-up.

Whether you’re mentally preparing for Game of Thrones tonight and feel too fragile thinking about the fate of Jon Snow to do anything too strenuous, or you just need a Sunday morning boost that’s a little more decadent than your typical black cuppa Joe, you need this.


Last summer I went galavanting through Italy and ate all the things. Check it out here, and also here, where I actually show you what real granita di caffe looks like from the famous La Cassa del Caffe Tazza d’Oro. When wandering the narrow cobblestoned streets of Rome, I got a little too used to walking around in the scorching hot sun with one of these in my hand. Continue reading

Eating Through Europe: Gelato

fatamorgana gelatoWhen August rolls into September and I notice the leaves begin to drift lazily to the ground, I usually breathe a sigh of relief at no longer having to wipe droplets of sweat off my forehead and peel myself off of public bus seats. And like the next girl, I always get a little excited thinking about all those comfy autumnal layers I can soon show off.

But this year?

Summer is hanging around a bit longer. The air is still heavy, and I’m still sticking to things. And it really makes me wish I was back in Italy, letting my tongue chase drops of gelato as they rolled down their cone, while I happily sat under a scorching Tuscan sun. Since I’ve been back in Boston, this is what I’ve missed the most: the obligatory afternoon gelato to keep cool (and sane). Unfortunately, it’s hard to find great ice cream here. And when we do, we don’t eat it every day. Which is a damn shame.

So, this is an ode to the gelato I fell in love with in the handful of cities I was lucky enough to visit this summer: Paris, Venice, Florence, Siena, Rome, Parma and Bologna, with the best for last. I hope it inspires you to get yourself a cone before summer slips away. Enjoy!
leili eating gelato Continue reading

Eating Through Europe, Part III: Italy (continued)

siena plates
Ciao, bellos!

This is the third and final part of Eating Through Europe – read up on Part I and Part II to whet your appetite. Part III is all about my visits to Florence, Siena, and Rome. Let’s do this.


Traveling from the red city of Bologna to the gray city of Florence marked the transition from the Emilia-Romagna region into Tuscany. Florence and Siena, my two stops in Tuscany, were by far the most scenic, and were home to the most beautiful works of art.


In Florence, after a full day of walking through galleries and visiting the David, my stomach demanded sustenance. Luckily, there was a nearby panini shop, All’Antico Vinaio, that had a never-ending line out the door. The enigmatic guys behind the counter made ordering a panino easy – either you told them what you wanted, or they surprised you with a combination of meats, cheeses, and veggies that melded so perfectly together you could say they were the Michaelangelo of sandwiches. I can’t even tell you what the specific ingredients were in my panino, but I do know there was a hefty amount of pecorino cream on each piece of freshly baked rustic focaccia. It was divine.

allantico vinaiopanini man panino Continue reading