Yikes. Today is the first day of March and on the 10th, I will turn 25 years old. I have used this date as a deadline for all-things-important in life. I better boogie because I only have 9 more days left to do a lot of things.
I have not yet made a real content-filled post in 2012. Let me paint you a quick picture of what my new year has been filled with. Just so everyone is on the same page. And because I know you are all just dying to know.
Christmas Time: bells will be ringing.
New Year’s Eve: a little song a little dance a little seltzer down your pants.
New Year’s Resolutions: you win some, you lose some.
A Trip Back To New Jersey: struggles and strife.
Valentine’s Day: two forks, two people, too perfect.
Current Feelings: nothing is more complete then to love where you are and to love the one you’re with.
So here I am, March 2012. This year you will bring me to a Quarter Century. How can something be so terrifying and exhilarating at the same?
Bring it on.
I have been to Italy three times, all before the age of 13 so my memories of the boot-shaped country are blurry and a little lost. Smell is supposed to be the number one trigger of a memory and I absolutely agree with that. But when smell, sound and taste are combined, they paint a picture for your sight and you can practically place yourself into the memory, even if you can’t actually see it in your mind.
When I step into Pappalecco, the smell of espresso, the sound of the milk frother and the taste of saltiness that touches your tongue seem to make my faint memories wobble from the back part of my brain into the forefront.
Pappalecco has two locations in San Diego. One in Hillcrest and another in Little Italy. Everything about the cafe feels authentic. The glass displays contain perfect little pre-made sandwiches and delicate pastries and cookies. There are mounds of creamy gelato and the employees all greet you with an enthusiastic “Ciao!”
Now I’m not writing this post to talk about teenage Lanie and her adventures in Italy, but about a beautifully complete panini. Panini’s have become a popular concept among restaurants and cafes and I have had my fair share. This panini however, is by far my favorite.
The Melanzana contains prosciutto, grilled eggplant, fresh mozzarella, basil, and an herbed aioli. The ingredients inside are pressed together and each of the different flavors are blended to make each bite perfection. The saltiness of the prosciutto combined with the stringy texture of the eggplant is balanced by the creamy mozzarella and the fresh taste of the basil. The whole panini is drizzled with a sweet balsamic reduction that really brings the whole dish together. The rich inside of the panini are paired with a crusty bread that really makes the sandwich stand apart from most impostors. It is not spungy like most panini’s but rather crunchy and chewy in all the right parts. Before placing the panini in the press, they brush the outside with oil and dust it with salt and freshly cracked pepper which is my favorite part. It gives you an excuse to lick your fingers at the end of the meal because, what’s the point of eating with your hands if you can’t enjoy every last taste.