In response to Adrian Chiles’s article (After three weeks travelling in Europe, I’m calling it – British food is the best, 7 September), having lived in Italy for more than 20 years I can confidently state that there is no “Italian” food. The country has a multitude of regional styles, sometimes radically different in flavour, cooking techniques and ingredients.
Any town big enough to warrant more than one restaurant will have, in addition to an Italian restaurant, a Chinese, a sushi joint, a Turkish kebab shop and a pizzeria at the very least. In Turin, which compared with Milan is a mountain hamlet with cows wandering its cobbled alleys, there are Thai, Indonesian, Mongolian barbecue, Persian, Indian, Russian, French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Armenian restaurants – and even a British restaurant serving fish and chips, meat pies and a full English breakfast.
I agree with Adrian Chiles when it comes to European food. Five weeks in Italy drove me bonkers, and by week four I craved anything but Italian food. Monocultural food is mind- and heart-numbing. When we eventually left for home, we had an unexpected three days in Tokyo because of a typhoon. Across the alley from our hotel room was a neon sign advertising a Malay family restaurant, at which point I did start to cry. It was bliss. I will probably never spend five weeks in one European country ever again.
Paddington, New South Wales, Australia