Eat Pray Love – Italian Food Porn

“Eat Pray Love” based on the memoir of Elizabeth Gilbert. A woman who apparently “has it all” – husband, house, career, yet is still searching for personal fulfillment in her life (“I used to have this appetite for my life and it is just gone”). Bonus of the movie – You get a culinary tour through Italy! I know I should care about personal enlightenment, as I am a big proponent of bettering one’s self and living a fulfilling life, but really come on, how can I not write about the food!  I could not put “Eat Pray Love” down when I read the book and could not wait for the film to come out, especially having traveled extensively myself. When I heard Julia Roberts would be playing Elizabeth Gilbert, I couldn’t resist even further (I am always cautious of books being turned into screen plays). However, I knew Julia would bring her sense of humor and infectious laughter to a role that at times is very dark (spoiler alert: bathroom scene praying on the cold tile floor). So as the movie takes off , Liz asks the question of a friend & her mother “when did you accept the life you had” and almost instantaneously decides to go to Italy, India and then Bali for a year, leaving the past behind and only looking forward.

Upon Liz’s arrival in Italy, she finds a place to live, enrolls in language classes (“Every word in Italian is like a truffle”). She knows two other Americans living in Rome, both of whom are writers, one in particular worked for “Gourmet Magazine”.

One of her 1st meals was with the writer from Gourmet Magazine, which consisted of “not only lamb and truffles and carpaccio rolled around hazelnut mouse, but an exotic little serving of pickled lampascione, which is the bulb of the wild hyacinth.”

Having somewhat settled into life in Italy, Liz decides she needs to make more friends. Sofie, a friend from her language class becomes her constant companion & her foodie friend, as the two women explore all that Rome/Italy has to offer. Liz and Sofie would go sit outside the Tiber everyday after class, eating their gelato. “Gelato at 9:30am – Italians consider this perfectly reasonable.” She also befriends a man named Luca Spaghetti and he is “terrific company for the hungry likes of me.” With Sofie & Luca by her side, Liz journeys through Rome’s little dives in the back alleys, restaurants with no name listed outside. Luca Spaghetti was teaching Liz the Italian/Roman way of life – To enjoy it all, to take it all in, and to love it all.

Liz and Sofie decide to take a day trip to Naples for the day to eat some pizza, armed with the name of the best pizza joint in Naples from her language instructor Giovanni. Liz discovers that the people from are “so stoked to be from Naples and why shouldn’t they be, they gave the world pizza and ice cream.” Sofie & Liz arrive at Pizzeria da Michele, each ordering a pie in their delirium – Liz stating “I’m having a relationship with my pizza. This my no-carb, left behind experiment!”  Then just before Liz is leaving for India for the second part of her journey, she fixes her Italian friends and family a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner – With the turkey not being done on time of course!

The film at this point takes you through Liz’s journey as she goes on to India, to learn to clear her mind, to meditate, to find her spiritual path and then on to Bali where she finds love in her “Champion” played by Javier Bardem. I wish the film would have highlighted more of the cuisine in India & Bali, however, I understand, it is Italy after all and Italy is known for amazing cuisine.

 

 

 

The film and book have created such a buzz that even The Travel Channel/Lonely Planet have jumped on board with EPL travel packages. Don’t we all wish we could pack up our lives, go to Italy (to eat), India (to pray) and Bali (to love).

 

 

 

 

I highly recommend Eat, Pray, Love (book & film), as it is an inspiring true story that will make you want to pack up your bags and leave tomorrow, and if you cannot make such a journey, that you can find the beauty, pleasure, devotion and fulfillment in life and enjoy the food you eat and the people you eat it with along the way. Take the time out to enjoy life!

And as a  gluten-free girl, now the trick will be to recreate all those delicious dishes gluten & wheat free!

All pictures courtesy of Columbia Pictures

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