What Katie Ate in Milan: Giannasi Chicken Lunch and Fish Tea

I’ve never been one for learning languages. Its like maths, I can learn the rules but I find it ridiculously difficult to apply them in contexts that don’t require me to list the conjugations of a specific verb. But, as we were visiting family in Italy, I thought I should make a concerted effort to at least be able to say some basic things to them in their own language. I began using the DuoLingo app on my phone which actually got me quite far because each level is broken down into tiny lessons that I could do on the short train trip to work or while waiting for dinner to finish cooking. It was also great to be able to practice speaking the language through the app as well. All this meant that I came to Italy is a decent understanding of some (quite basic) Italian. The longer we were in Italy, the more confident I got with trying to speak some of the language while we were out and about. Mostly, my translations of the menu and attempts to order food (my primary goal) were met with kind smiles and reassuring nods. Until the day we went out for a roast chicken lunch.

IMG_0141We decided to venture slightly further out of the city centre and try some of the food that is served in the suburbs when people go home for lunch. My research led us to Giannasi, an old school kiosk serving rotisserie chicken from a recipe that they had used since the shop opened in 1967.

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Really, looking at that succulent, golden chicken, why would you change the recipe? After all, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!

IMG_0142There was a huge crowd of locals waiting to buy their lunch but it was quite orderly and, when we had reached the front, I felt confident enough to try ordering our meal in Italian. It went a little like this:

Me: “scusi, due polli e mezzo”

Him: “taglio?”

Me: “si, si! E due te pesci”

Him: *quizzical look* “pesci?”

Me: “Oh! No! PescA!”

In my enthusiasm, I ordered two half chickens cut into quarters and two FISH teas. Not quite the PEACH teas I was going for! The server was kind and laughed off my mistake and I left triumphantly with my chickens and teas but a little red faced too.

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As most people seem to return to their apartments to eat, there is no seating at the kiosk. You can sit down in the small park nearby but there is little shade from the hot Summer sun so be prepared to tan it up a little while you eat. Really, you will probably be so involved in sucking every last shred of gorgeously marinated chicken off the bone that you won’t notice anything else! Apparently these chickens are “aromatized” for 24 hours before they are broiled again before serving.

IMG_0145But, if you’re not a huge fan of chicken, there is still plenty of choice for you. Giannasi are also renowned for their arancini and risotto, as well as their vast array of marinated and chargrilled vegetables. We wanted to try some of the grilled eggplant but were so full of tasty chicken that we just couldn’t fit it in! The prices are very reasonable too. I can’t quite remember how much but I think our lunch was something like 6 euros all up?

And how was the fish tea? I hear you asking cheekily!

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I feel like I need to begin an immediate petition to bring San Benedetto Peach Tea to Australia
This stuff is delicious. And cool to look at too!

So, my lovelies, have you had any embarrassing ‘lost in translation’ type moments in your life? Please spill the beans!

Giannasi 1967
Address: Piazza Bruno Buozzi, 20135 Milan, Italy
Subway Stop: Porta Romana
Open: 7 days, 7am-8pm (Sundays 8am-2pm)

What Katie Ate In Berlin

Lets get down to business. On this blog we are much more interested in the food adventures that I had in Berlin than my lame photographs of the architecture. But, I had never been to Berlin before and so my food adventures were less… adventurous as I had a list of all the stereotypical German food items that I needed to try in situ. After my success with the mackerel I tended to just go down the list of German food with some delicious and questionable choices.

IMG_9881One huge regret I have though is that I never had one of the crazy over the top sundaes that seemed to be served everywhere in Berlin. Because it wasn’t super hot and I was so full of other delicious things I just never had the dessert stomach room for one of these bad boys.

IMG_9925But I did eat a pretzel as big as my head.

Just kidding.

It was definitely bigger than my tiny head.

IMG_9903Then I ate my way through a selection of Kinder chocolates that we don’t really get in Australia. This one is the Kinder Hippo that is a creamy white and milk chocolate centre surrounded by wafer and chocolate and chopped nuts. I ate the whole packet and i’m not even sorry.

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This was a strange but delicious incarnation of the Kinder Surprise. It was basically the soft innards of the kinder mixed with cereal. It was every damn where so people must like it. I did! Why did I not bring more of these home with me? Because, my lovely readers, i’m an idiot.

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Taking a step away from the sweets for a minute, i’d like to introduce you to currywurst.
Berliners seemed to be obsessed with this stuff. Basically it’s slices of sausage covered in tomato sauce then dusted with curry powder. I find this disgusting but hubs loved it and had it a few times. If you’re interested in tasting this ubiquitous treat, you can find it pretty much on any street corner. There are two types, the first is the one you see above with the curry powder sprinkled on top and the second is with the curry powder mixed into the sauce. Either way, you’re getting the curry ketchup flavour. Good luck. I did not like this one. Sorry Berlin.

IMG_9898This was another weirdo thing that Berliners seemed to like. To me, it looks like vomit sausages. On closer inspection, they are plastic sausages filled with soup and creamy vegetables and mashed potato. Can any Germans tell me why they’re packaged like this? I have no idea how you would open these without the filling going EVERYWHERE. This makes me question the reputation of German engineering.

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And then my faith in Germany was restored. When I came across this full sized fridge of sliced cheeses and wedges of cheese, I felt simultaneously elated and frustrated. How is it that we don’t have this in Australia? Germany, you got your priorities sorted.

IMG_9919Just when I thought I had Berlin sorted out…. there was this icecream.
How is this called ‘Bum Bum’?
What kind of icecream could this possibly be? Can anyone shed light on this?

So, Germany, you baffled and amused me. Well played.

Stay tuned for more What Katie Ate

Next stop: Milan

What Katie Saw In Berlin

What Katie Saw In Berlin

So this week I go back to work after two weeks of catching up on sleep and relaxing and baking. While I definitely love my job, i’m not looking forward to all the exam marking and report writing that Term 4 entails. I’ve decided that the best way to cope with the shock of being back at work is to remember a better time. And what better time than the epic European holiday that hubs and I took way back in July? I will be spending the next few weeks serving up posts about the amazing things we ate and places we saw. They will be pretty photo heavy but I think that my photography skills are improving so hopefully there are a few winners in there!

Triple Celebration Funfetti Cupcakes

Triple Celebration Funfetti Cupcakes

And we have hit that time again. That bitter sweet time when we farewell the Year 12 students who are about to go out into the world and begin their adult lives. I haven’t written a post like this in so long because each year i’ve been so overwhelmed with life that I just haven’t had time to even consider writing a post. So to even out the score, I have a couple of farewell baking posts to share with you.