Growing Up Foodie: Susanna's Hello
When I was in elementary school my classmates and I were asked to stand in front of the class, introduce ourselves, and tell everyone our favorite kind of pizza. Most of my classmates chose pepperoni, many picked cheese, and, one kid said olives. When it was my turn I looked to my peers and said, “Hi, my name is Susanna and my favorite pizza is Al Forno's Margherita pizza.”
This introduction is much better suited to the Culture community than to my eight year old classmates. For those of you who don't know, Al Forno is a world renowned restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island and it is the birth place of the grilled pizza. The margherita pizza is always on the menu and it never disappoints.
When I was growing up my mother worked at Al Forno as a bartender and during her mandatory weekly wine and menu tastings she would have to bring me and my two sisters along because my father worked during the day. My youngest sister would sit on my mother's lap while my older sister and I would be sent into the kitchen.
Some kids grow up with play-doh- I played with pizza dough. The bakers would give us balls of dough and we would knead them with our tiny hands, toss them into the air, kneed, roll, ball, fold them into pretzels, knead, roll, flatten, over and over again.
We never actually ate pizza while we were there. We had to wait for the days when my mom would bring one home. Opening the refrigerator and finding a silver to-go container with the white top was always a good day. My chubby little fingers would eagerly peel off the top and I was greeted with thin crust, charred edges, fontina cheese, and curly shaved scallions: the worlds best pizza.
It's no wonder that with this upbringing I became a foodie. I consider grocery shopping a pastime, not an errand. Cooking is a delight, not a chore. I enjoy dining from food trucks to fine dining. Food is my first love, writing is my second which is why I am delighted to be Culture's web editorial intern this fall. I will be blogging regularly so an introduction was in order.
Hello Culture! My name is Susanna and did I mention that I love cheese!