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Italian Breakfast

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August 14, 2014 / Italian / By
Anna

Breakfast in Italy was a challenge for me when I first started living there. At first glance, the unitiated would be reluctant to believe this was the best place in town to get breakfast - a bar at a gas station. Even more strangely, it is called Bar Kiwi.

I was used to a hearty serving of homemade muesli that would stick to me for the whole day. But Italy threw me a few obstacles. Firstly, it was difficult to get access to rolled oats, the basis of the muesli. Even nuts and dried fruit were less plentiful and more expensive than I was used to. Over the years I have messed around with muesli recipes until I had created one that works for me and it is very low in sugar or frills of any kind, so I am not willing to replace it with a box of manufactured cereal – too sweet. I no longer toast the oats, nor do I add oil or honey; these were in the original recipe. The current recipe is so simple, and so flexible that it is a cinch to throw together if I can locate the ingredients.

Homemade Muesli

500gms Rolled Oats (precooked)

Pour the oats into a large bowl and add a cup of wheat germ. Then add any or all of the following in handfuls mixing at intervals until it looks appealing: sultanas, sliced dried apricots (or other dried fruits), flax seeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, toasted almonds (no need to chop them), and walnuts halved or quartered.

As you can imagine, this is very chunky muesli. I serve it with milk and yoghurt; grated apple is good, too. If you use oats that have not been precooked, just soak the serving overnight. The sweetness in this muesli comes from the dried fruits, and the nuts add plenty of crunch. I am not happy if I get less than four nuts per serving; if that happens, I recommend mining for more. And, yes, a small serving, about 1/3 of a cup, lasts four hours at least. To the horror of my family, I have been known to take my own muesli on holiday to avoid starting the day off badly.

But in Italy, most of my friends want to meet at the bar for breakfast. This breakfast consists of a delicious cappuccino, called a cappucio by the bar staff. It threw me at first, but I am an old hand now and use such terms with élan. To go with the coffee, there will be a selection of pizza breads, rosemary being TTGs favorite, and a selection of sweet things. For at least a year TTG and I watched our friends scoffing cornetti - basically croissants with jam, honey or custard – with horror. But to be polite I joined in. At first, it was just a small cornetto con crema (with custard).

They were delicious of course, but I felt hungry an hour later. So the compromise for a further year or so was a hobbit-like approach. I had muesli early with a cup of tea, and then popped to the bar for cappucio and cornetto con crema.

A bit of a struggle with the waist measurements led me to abandon the double breakfast and to choose either muesli or a cornetto.  Each day dawns fresh, and I have a moment of excitement as I make my decision.

Gradually my body has changed its expectations, so that now, I can have a cappucio and cornetto at 8.00 am at the bar – the best one being unexpectedly and unattractively placed in the forecourt of the gas station - and I have enough energy to work all morning in the garden. I have no explanation, but it works. TTG, wholly unexpectedly, has been converted, too.

Bar Kiwi

Country: Italy

Province/State: Umbria

City: Bevagna

Address: N/A

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: N/A

Website:N/A

Price Guide:N/A (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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