A few years ago I published a collection of essays on the theme of breakfast "Breakfast: how and why”AGRA publisher of Rome. In the introductory chapter I described the importance of breakfast in the frequency of daily meals in the majority of citizens not only Romans and Italians but of the whole world. However, many others neglect this meal because of laziness, lack of time, lack of appetite. Many prefer to have breakfast at home with all the rituals of the case, the choice of cup, favorite milk, coffee, rusks, homemade bread, biscuits, popcorn, muesli, honey, various jams, butter. Still others prefer to go to the bar even bringing the same children because young and old prefer the croissant or the fried donut, the Danish, the Radesky and so on.
I prefer to do it at my house but tastes have changed a bit over the years and I will explain why. When I was heavily involved in the job I was forced to have breakfast outside the house, often finding myself very bad because I don't like the croissant that most bars offer as it is badly cooked, scorched, loaded with margarine, moscio, clumsily enriched with an artificial cream, a jam that is a jelly, with the Nutella that I hate. The alternative to the croissant represented by the spouses who sometimes resemble the old Lent, sometimes contain some rare raisins, sometimes resemble improper weapons. My preference, when I'm at home, is for Gentilini's Osvego biscuits which I grab perfectly aligned with each other with thumb, forefinger and middle finger to dip in coffee and milk. The first single dip involves about a third of the length of the biscuits, for a short time, so as to take them into the mouth before the weight of the milk makes them fall into the cup with consequent splashes everywhere even on the tie.
A second dip of the middle third of the biscuits follows and finally a third one of the stumps left between the fingers making them slide gracefully into the milk to collect them all together with the spoon. The milk must be warm but not boiling in order not to lose the fragrance. On the other hand, if they burn, you have to cool them by blowing them on the tongue. I ate twelve biscuits until a bad friend (Giancarlo Sbarigia) pointed out to me that the calculation of calories was not very favorable to the scientific concept that he would like to be able to consume 20% of the calories that should then be taken during the day between lunch and dinner.
Over the years I have lost a certain sensitivity for the taste of the dessert, I also like the ice cream desserts but I don't taste them anymore with particular transport and I have not found substitutes as interesting as the Gentilini were that I still eat to a lesser extent with affection and gratitude for a historic company, honest always growing also on the international market. How not to mention in this regard Marcel Proust that in recent years, at breakfast, when he brought the Madeleines to his mouth, he was invaded by a delightful pleasure that seemed to perpetuate the love relationship with his mother. Times have changed I could attach statistical numbers but everyone can believe it is true that the number of people having breakfast at home has decreased. It is the paradoxical result of a campaign promoted by the national institute of nutrition. When the economic boom occurred, the culture and science of nutrition wanted to promote breakfast at home but the people who gained a minimum of comfort preferred to the most affectionate and traditional breakfast of their own home that of the bar dazzling with antidepressant lights , invaded by coffee vapors, cigarette smoke and pastry scents. The same mocha was given up because the best coffee is that of the bar and perhaps it is also true but in the meantime the industry has invented a coffee machine with pods.
When it was launched on the market, it had enormous success. In fact, some of my close relatives also underwent exhausting lines to buy the machine and now they don't even go to the bar anymore. I don't like that coffee because the machine is not enough, to drink a good coffee it is always the man or who introduces the capsule and who governs the machine that makes good coffee. As in all things, mechanization does not absolve man of the responsibility of knowing how to do it. And then the croissant became a fetish. We go around Rome in the middle of the night to find the cool bar that opens to sell croissants making happy all the boys and rinsers, all unemployed, who give themselves a role. Then the coffee of the bar itself is rarely incorrect with some drugs, some euphoric additives not of cocaine but with ginseng that is very fashionable. If at the bar you dare to ask for a croissant and you don't specify which type of croissant you want, the waiter stops, leans his elbow on the counter and begins to list the company's specialties. He rarely uses tongs for sweets but hastily grabs the croissant by wrapping it with a tissue, ruining it if it is crunchy, baking it if it is stuffed with cream that is not cream, with indefinable jams or with brown paste that looks like chocolate or perhaps very sticky Nutella. We all know the list of variants of stretched narrow coffee, etc.
But also cappuccino can vary from one customer to another, that is light, dark without foam, boiling, with cocoa, by the glass, in a large cup, cold (in summer) with decaffeinated, with or without sugar, with honey and it never ends. Then we must not forget that in some very rare country of Friuli someone has breakfast with a grappa, unfortunately. That fast of the night, albeit short, creates a deficit of sugar in the brain, so if you want to put it into service early and well, you need to provide it with some sugar, but not the white or brown sugar they offer you at the bar, but that of complex carbohydrates which you can extract from, or bread, rusks, biscuits, focaccia and so on. You have to choose well because when you enter a supermarket the biscuit sector is always very rich, simple, with chocolate, with glazed sugar, granular, cream, Nutella, jam, gluten-free.
One thing must be taken care of: the quality of the fats of the biscuits even of the gluten-free ones because they contain palm oil which seems to favor weight gain, obviously eating a lot of it. A megalomanic advertisement makes you think that yogurt is good for you but only if taken in the morning on an empty stomach to add it to the small intestine when it can stay in contact with the mucosa freely. Those who want it sweet should add a teaspoon of homemade jam with little sugar when it is not necessary to keep it too long. My mother put in the pot a kilo of fruit and a kilo of sugar enough to keep the product half a century. Few remember the opportunity to have fresh fruit for breakfast. Food education has been promoting the "five a day" formula for many years, ie fruit for breakfast, lunch and dinner, vegetables for lunch and dinner. Introjecting calories also means spending them with a vigorous walk of half an hour a day. Milk after a certain age would be better to replace it with green tea which has many health properties. I really appreciate smoked herring but we Southern Mediterranean people don't like it and we don't necessarily have to ape in Northern Europeans.