Science - November 18, 2004

Food/ Packed lunch

Each week our reporter takes to the streets together with the Wb photographer in search of international students busy with one of the essentials of life: food.

Mirko Barbieri (23) from Italy eats his lunch in the canteen of the Prof. Ten Houten building, Binnenhaven 5. He arrived in Wageningen a month ago for his MSc thesis research on leaf rust in barley:

‘I generally have rice for lunch, cold rice with vegetables, an orange or a mandarin, and water. I prepare the rice the night before. I eat it cold, because I can’t heat it up here. In Italy we also eat cold pasta, we have several recipes for this, but I’m only able to make hot pasta. If there were a microwave in the canteen that I could use to heat up my food, I would also have pasta for lunch.

In Italy lunch is the most important meal of the day. We also eat a lot for breakfast. At eight in the evening we have a light dinner. I’m used to going to bed late, around one o’clock, so when I eat at seven like the Dutch I get hungry again around midnight.
When I get home at half past five I prepare a lot of pasta, or eat some French bread with ham and cheese. I then have dinner again around eleven with the two Spanish students and the Argentinian student on my corridor. As the Chinese students in our corridor eat around seven the kitchen is never overbooked.

I also make pasta after a night out. Like three weeks ago, when I came home from Arnhem with an early morning bus. As usual on a Sunday morning I went to bed at half past nine. I can buy most of what I want in the supermarket here. There’s only a limited choice in pasta, oil and bottled water. In Italy they fill a whole aisle each. I’m also happy that a friend of mine has brought Parmigiano Reggiano, Parmesan cheese, and some balsamic vinegar.

I noticed that on Dutch corridors they also often make pasta, which is understandable, because it’s hard to prepare meat for fourteen people. I tasted it once, but found it too spicy. Last week I cooked for fourteen people. I made two sauces, carbonara, with eggs, bacon, dark pepper, onion and garlic; and amatriciana, with bacon, tomato, red pepper, onion and basil. By the way, the Dutch coffee is the same as tea. It’s a drink and I drink it, but it has nothing to do with coffee.’ / YdH

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