We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hot Dogs and "Yes We Can"

I've been pretty adamant about diving right into Italian everyday life and culture.We eat what is available here to eat everyday, we've even  learned some traditional Venetian recipes.   I've stuck to that rule- so no stops at McDonalds or BurgerKing just out of principle.  Until recently. I fell off the wagon.

A few months ago, after meeting up with a lovely American woman and her two young daughters aged 8 and 10, we made a stop at one of my favorite local caffes.  All of us ate tramezzinos- a little sandwich, except the youngest, who ordered - what else, a hotdog!  I hadn't thought about a hotdog in ages, but when her meal was delivered to her, there were the most wonderful smells coming from that hotdog I almost started drooling. I told that little girl to hold onto that dog or I was liable to grab a bite!  That was the beginning of my undoing.

Weeks passed by. I, unfortunately, eventually caved. I am in that same caffe day in and day out.  One day, when it was my turn to order lunch, I found the words "Hot Dog"coming out of my mouth.  The hot dog served up to me smelled as good as I remembered. Along side there was a packet of mustard and ketchup. I'm a mustard, onions and relish girl, or perhaps mustard and sauerkraut. Those other condiments certainly weren't on this caffe's menu, so I settled for the mustard and bit in.  I was in heaven. This was every bit as good as any baseball park hotdog.

Thereafter, about once a week, I go have a hotdog fix. On one particular day, when I was about to open my mouth to place my order, Marco, the barista, said to me, "Yes, I know. Cane caldo".  Cane caldo????  OH!  Now I get it - Hot dog. Literally, he was saying "Dog Hot".   I love these hot dogs.  Marco showed me the package of  hot dogs they buy, and told me I could find the same ones at the Billa grocery store. Guess what has been in my fridge ever since?  I even found sauerkraut. All I'm missing is the relish!

Yesterday, during my daily visit to this caffe, I asked Stefano, another of the barista's, where they buy the buns they serve with the Cane Caldo, as those buns are delicious.  When Stefano answered they get them in Treviso, my whole face showed my disappointment.  Stefano turned to me and said, in Italian, "Don't worry. We get them frozen. Karen, when you want, you tell me. I will give you a few every time to take home".  A big smile returned to my face.  "Really?," I asked?

Stefano's response, in English this time,  was "When you ask something, I can do it.  Yes, we can. "


Andrew said...

How can such a small piece of processed meat have this effect? I am at work reading this and salivating. And I'm ENGLISH. We don't do hot dogs as well as the Americans.

Rob C said...


Be careful, you're walking down that slippery path called 'An American Abroad',if you're not careful you'll become one of those 'God-Awful' whining Tourists...................... Only kidding!!!

A little taste of home isn't a bad thing, unless it's that brown stuff that some of ya call coffee :-)


karen said...

Andrew- next time you are here I will take you to Imagina caffe, you can try one yourself. I was skeptical myself at first! I won't eat them everyday, it goes against my "be Italian" rule, but once in awhile I cannot resist.

Yvonne said...

Well, for goodness sakes! I haven't had a decent hot dog since Homer was a pup. Oops, sorry, Homer, wrong choice of words. get behind me, temptation.

karen said...

Yvonne- guess where I will be taking you soon!!!! Imagina is right around the corner from your Carmini apartment!!!!!!

Michelle said...

Oh, no, now you have me wanting Cane Caldo also. Should I bring a jar of relish in my carry on in 2012? I'm sure if you have a food processor and can get the pickles you could make it.
I also haven't had a "hot dog" in forever.
Yvonne is to give you a hug for me.

karen said...

Ciao, Michelle! Relish would be lovely, but not necessary! How have you been? I'm meeting up with Yvonne tomorrow. Can't wait to see her- and collect your hug. Hugs back to you!!

Jim said...

I've just discovered your blog while indulging my minor obsession with Venice. I so envy you actually living there. I'm re-reading Jan Morris's Venice and Mereweather's Semele at the moment. Now I realise I have some years of your blog to enjoy. Many, many thanks. Ciao, Jim

karen said...

Jim- Grazie, grazie, grazie! I'm glad to see I am not the only one with a Venice obsession! I hope you enjoy catching up on my little adventures of becoming an Italian. My favorite blogs are April 2008, when I was out in the countryside during my quest to obtain dual citizenship. Every time I reread them my sides split from laughing!Thanks again for reading, and for taking the time to leave a message. - Karen

La Venexiana said...

OH NO! Imagina has hot dogs? Now we are doomed. But those boys are always so accomodating, if you had said "boy, I wish I had a hot dog" they would have gone out and found you one. Love to Stefano, Marco, and the gang. ♥

Lape said...

Hi Karen,
I really like your blog and have been reading it for about a year now and never commented but the cafe staff's 'yes we can' comment in this post made me giggle and I just had to let you know. I'm glad your knee is better.