Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Taste of Italy

Ever since we returned from Europe -- NINE years ago! -- we have searched high and low for a cappuccino that could even hope to compete with the wonderful coffee we could get anytime, anywhere in Italy.  Something that would bring to mind the cafe on the shore of Lago Maggiore, or Sant' Eustachio il Caffe in Rome, or in Verona, or Venice.

July 2004, on the shore of Lago Maggiore, Baveno Italy

The other day we were walking down Main Street in Vancouver BC Canada.  It was time for some lunch and I had a hankering for pizza.  We passed many pubs, cafes, and diners, but no pizza.  Finally there was a sandwich sign that even said 'Pizza:  Two slices $5!'  It was Caffe' Rustica, at 16th and Main.

We went to the counter and chose our slices, and then saw (and heard!) Mario making and serving espresso to his customers.  This was a genuine Italian!  Al asked him to make him a cappuccino, telling him of our search for the last nine years.  When he asked Al how he liked his cappuccino, al said 'like the ones made in Italy, where everyone learns how to make them in grade school- like I could get on the shores of Lago Marriore'.   Mario simply replied "Those people learn how to make coffee from Rome.  And I am from Rome." and went to work.

Mario learned to make coffee in Rome!  His father was an olive farmer in Italy.  We had high hopes, and he did not fail.
One classic cappuccino, and a latte with 'special reserve cocoa'.

We are a bit older, but we are still as happy as Italy!  Thank you, Mario!
Al's comment:  I have noted that there is a difference between making coffee, and Making Coffee.   It may all be the same steps, but it is the care that goes into it that makes the difference.  In talking with Mario, he said the same - it is the attention, and care that makes it.    And I will say - Mario did good.  Without a doubt, the 1st cappuccino outside Italy that was the way it should have been.    Thank you Mario!

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