Centro Italia, Cash & Carry, Prenzlauerberg

As I was getting out of my car in the parking lot in front of Centro Italia, a beat up old Alfa Romeo came careening down the hill - gravel flying off to one side.  He switched off the engine before he had parked, crunching into a spot and pulling the hand brake loudly. He slammed the door so hard the windshield rattled.  He had a tan, he wore his hair longer than people normally do in Berlin and walked to the entrance of the cash and carry in long quick strides.

I can understand his urgency, it was ten to four and Centro Italia closes at 4 on saturday.Finding good Italian food is a challenge in most cities, not just Berlin (in London I recommend the River Café, Locanda Locatelli for a sophisticated  glamorous approach, or Zucca).  Sure you can find mozzarella with tomatoes and basil, pizza, limp pasta with arrabiata sauce or a grainy Bolognese.  But that’s like pretending those refrigerated plastic trays of sushi have any relation to the real deal.  Italian food is so varied and nuanced, you only have to look at the number of grape varieties they have - thousands, to understand why an authentic Italian meal proves so elusive. Read more of this post


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