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. "