I love risotto. I could make and eat it every day. I love everything about it; the prep, the process, the flexibility, the flavor. And with the one exception of an ill-fated butternut squash version about which no one is allowed to speak, I'm very good at making it.
But this story is about something else! Although risotto-related. When I was in Italy, lo these many years ago, I went to Venice with my friends Beth and Thom and oh my my before the trip we would not shut up about how excited we were about getting to eat some risotto in Venice, where risotto has its origins. Risotto risotto risotto, we would not shut up about it. By the time we got to Venice, in Week III, however, there were a lot of other foods we had not shut up about. When we were in Piemonte, we would not shut up about white truffles. White truffles, white truffles, white truffles! When we were in Chianti, we would not shut up about cinghiale, the wild boar. Cinghiale, cinghiale, cinghiale! When we were in Lucca, we would not shut up about chestnuts. Chestnuts, chestnuts, chestnuts! You get the idea. And maybe you hate us already. But that's okay! I hate us too.
In other words, we were fooded out by the time we got to Venice and we forgot ALL ABOUT our obsession with risotto. And so on the last night in Venice, we were in some restaurant in Dorsoduro and uh-oh, there it was on the menu...risotto! So Beth said "I'll have risotto!" and the lady said "no risotto! Risotto only for two!" So I said "oh, okay, then in that case I'll have the risotto as well!" and the lady smiled and said "si, risotto for two!" And then Thom said "I'll have risotto as well!" and the lady said "no! risotto only for two!" It's so labor intensive they would only make it in batches for people in pairs and this odd number was really causing some problems. It was very traumatic and somehow the lady made us feel like the ugliest Americans in the history of ugly Americans, this while another table of Americans kept saying "Eye-talian" this and "Eye-talian" that.
So we ended up not ordering it at all! We never did get to eat risotto in Venice, which is why I hate that fucking place. I hope that city sinks into the goddamned ocean.
P.S. I don't really hate you, Venice!