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The Binding Ingredient

Updated: Apr 16, 2018

“Food is the ingredient that binds us together.”


❤ ❤ ❤

The Fabulous Four

Making friends is easily the most complicated thing to do once you’ve grown beyond the playground.

But, why?

Maybe we’re too picky based on past relationships with others or maybe we just don’t know how to be vulnerable in sharing pieces of who we are with others. However, when we allow ourselves to break free from whatever it may be that’s holding us back, we can make friends in some of the most unexpected places with the most unexpected people.

Inside the Odeon Theatre

Hitting the town

This past Friday night I went out with a couple of people from my study abroad program. One of them was my roommate, so I already knew her quite well but, the other two that had the pleasure of joining us, were completely new-faces.

Having barely remembered the names that matched their faces, the four of us went to the Odeon Cinema to watch Kingsman- Il cerchio d’oro (or its English equivalent, Kingsman: The Golden Circle).

Fun fact: Italian movie theatres often have an intermission during a film. Though it often happens without warning, it's kind of nice to be able to dish about the film with a friend or grab some more popcorn without interrupting or missing anything!

Anyways, we thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I mean, how could we not with Taron Egerton, Elton John, Channing Tatum… need I go on? The film had a really star-studded cast and the plot was thrilling yet, comedic and at times, even sentimental.

Then off to dinner we went. With so many hidden side streets in Florence, you can be sure to find something both unique and appetizing. After voting 3-1 against The Hard Rock Firenze, we found a cute little restaurant nestled between a gelateria (ice cream shop) and an enoteca (wine shop).

Tagliere with wild boar cured meats and Tuscan Pecorino

After taking a seat, we didn’t hesitate to order a bottle of Tuscan Chianti, a wine famous in this region. After ordering pastas and a tagliere (cured meat and cheese board) for me, the time to make friends began…

The formation of a friendship

At first it was sort of sweet. Everyone was almost nervous to talk, afraid of what others might think of them.

After all, what is suitable dinner conversation with people you don’t know? How much is TOO much information? Is it weird to talk about how my pet rabbit ran away from home when I was eight?

After the first of us took the plunge, sharing something intimate about theirselves, the rest of us could identify. There was an instant shift from suspicion to trust. We could talk. Freely. We were among friends. 🙂

Palazzo Vecchio by night

As dinner continued, we told stories our childhood, discussed the places we’d like to visit while abroad, and laughed about the oddities living in a foreign country.

Together, we had formed an alliance, a relationship that most likely would have never flourished without the common ground of studying abroad. It only took a flight halfway around the world and some hunger pangs for this bunch of students to join together.

Friendship, the one ingredient, if you will, is what truly has the capability of binding us in the world.

Sitting around a tiny wooden table with candle in a wine bottle as our centrepiece, the ambiance was prime for allowing us to feel and to want to become closer to one another.

As minutes became hours, we soon the last ones in the restaurant, talking and laughing. Of course, like any other night in Florence, we headed for gelato once dinner was done! All in all, an awesome evening with awesome people!

❤ ❤ ❤

An Italo-Canadese Rendition of a Tuscan Tagliere

* Makes 4 servings *


  • Salumi: soppressata, prosciutto, guanciale

  • Formaggi: parmigiano, asiago, pecorino (I adore Tuscan!)

  • Frutta: figs, grapes

  • Marinated olives

  • Sun-dried tomatoes

  • Red pepper jelly, onion jam, tartufo spread etc.

  • Crostini or bruschetta

  • Taralli


  1. Assemble your bruschette or toast your crostini at 400° F, dressing them with jams when ready.

  2. Cut and assemble meats, cheeses, fruit and other accompaniments on a large wooden board.

  3. Pour yourself a glass of vino and enjoy the good times to come!

How do you make new friends at your age? I'd love to know!


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