An unforgettable Milanese specialty|Yuriko Mikami|KnowLedge World Network|Activities|KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL

  • 2021.12.06
  • An unforgettable Milanese specialty
I’ll never forget the first meal I ate during my first visit to Milan.

I had been walking around the city doing some solo sightseeing when I began to get hungry. Wondering where I should stop for lunch, I started checking the restaurant menu boards as I passed by. I ended up wandering around for a bit—perhaps because travelling alone made me indecisive, or maybe because I couldn’t find anywhere that looked welcoming enough. My empty stomach started growling at me just as the tiredness of walking all morning began to hit me. I really wanted to sit down and rest.

The atmosphere changed completely as I ducked a little off the main street onto what could best be described as a dim, narrow lane. Yet, it had a liveliness about it as it was home to a bustling shop with a line out the door. Obviously the food there was going to be delicious.

It initially appeared to be a bakery, but I couldn’t see what they were selling because of the crowds. Delicious aromas were filling up the street, and I could see people with their mouths full of freshly-purchased bread-like things that looked piping hot. That really spiked my appetite. The restaurant didn’t have any seats or even tables. Nor was there anywhere to sit outside—the local Milanese were just standing around eating their warm purchases in the street. People of all ages were thronging the front of the shop—everyone from businessmen in suits and ties to students. I lined up without knowing what they were eating or what I was going to order and funneled inside. Finally it was my turn. They had so many delicious-looking things on display that it was hard to choose, but it felt like I would be overrun by the people behind me if I let myself get overwhelmed. When I realized that the most unassuming thing on the menu was that same piping-hot bread, I actually stopped caring whether other people beat me to it and started checking out their other selections to add to it. It was peak lunch hour in the shop, and the animated exchanges between the customers and the staff were deafening. I decided to just go for the strange item, and pointed to order it. As I waited to get my order, I realized that there were clippings from Japanese magazines and newspapers posted around the shop, and that they were featuring its signature dish. Panzerotti Luini. If I described panzerotti as a fried pizza, you could probably picture it, right?

I somehow made my way out of the crowd and pulled half of my steaming fried pizza from its paper bag. The instant I bit into it, my mouth was flooded with hot tomato sauce and hot cheese. It burned my mouth of course, and then covered my lips, my hands, and even my clothes in red and white.

What a shock to have such an awful food experience!

And yet, it was so incredibly delicious that I didn’t even care. I just enjoyed my panzerotti, using paper napkins to wipe up everywhere.

I then thought how typical it was that the Japanese already had magazine articles on it! We really are suckers for delicious food, no matter where in the world we find it.

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  • Yuriko Mikami
  • AgeDog (INU)
  • GenderFemale
  • JobMusician

A cellist based in Milan. Performs as a soloist also with some ensembles. Has a wide range of genres from classic to pop. Actually plays in a band on an Italian comedian's TV show.

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