Story by Giulia Scarpaleggia

Many people who live and enjoy a crazy life in the big cities all over the world feel the urge to find their peace of mind in the still life of the quiet countryside. They rejoice in green and hilly landscapes, appreciate a slow rhythm of life and sometime plan absurd and unreal escapes back to the wild life of the ancient times. I live in their dreams. I mean, I enjoy daily the quiet life of the Tuscan countryside, I try to pace my life to the slow rhythm of Nature. It’s not always possible, but I do my best, with the help of the above mentioned green and hilly landscapes.

This said, I crave for London and England. Even though I can’t imagine a life without my house in the countryside and my Tuscan way of life, I crave for London, I crave for England. I feel unbelievably inspired when I walk in a crowded street with thousands of people, when I have to run to catch a bus. I feel energized by the buzz of the London city life. I need to meet my friends living there to share different experiences and learn from them.

I am in awe in front of the amazing offer of incredible food you can find in a city like London: Japanese, Spanish, Russian, Caribbean, Brazilian, Thai, Ethiopic, Scandinavian, Chinese, Italian, French. Either you are at the airport or in a back-lane of London, you know that you have at your disposal many choices, and most of the time I am undoubtedly impressed by the great attention to fresh, local, organic food.

The London food markets, as a curious and passionate tourist, are the perfect place to be: I can breath the quality of the food, I’m in love with the large range of fresh products you can get.
An example? Rhubarb, so difficult to find in Italy, so common and beautiful in England, my favourite ingredient for crumbles, stews and ice cream toppings! Bring me to the Borough market and you’d need to be extremely convincing to persuade me to leave the market after just a few hours, with my bags crammed with vegetables, cheese and preserve jars!

Not to mention the English cooking scene: curious, open to every good influence they can get, traditional and in the same time innovative. Ok, I live in Italy and I might enjoy everyday one of the finest cuisines in the world, but it’s not enough. I crave for new flavours, fresh intake on old traditions, and I can find all this elements in London. Maybe we have something to learn from England: be curious and embrace enthusiastically the new ideas, always conscious and respectful of where you come from.

About the author: Giulia Scarpaleggia is a writer and she is passionate about Tuscan food. Giulia also has a food blog.