I’m a few things: a reader, a Detroiter by birth and a current West Coaster by preference, a mother, a writer of sorts. I’ve moved around a lot. I like food, languages and places like Italy and India. I lived in Florence for twelve years and blogged about a lot of that at Letters from Florence. With my Italian husband, I own and run a small Tuscan restaurant called Burrasca in Portland, Oregon.

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Why artichokes?

Because the incredible variety of these amiable thistles I encountered in Italy—along with their kissing cousin, the cardoon—delighted my senses, becoming a symbol of my general Italian awakening. Artichokes are like life in Italy: they require patience, prick you when you’re in need of tenderness, leave a taste in your mouth that’s both good and bad—and always, always keep you hungering for more.

Why exile?

As I was coming of age in my literary tastes I grew obsessed with the expat writers drawn to Paris of the 1920’s: Hemingway, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Stein, Pound, etc. and in ever-expanding circles I delved into the stories of painters and other creatives whose planets glittered in the Parisian orbit. I was in awe of that city: a place that fomented artistic expression on such a grand scale. Being away from the strictures of one’s home soil encouraged freedom, and I imagined my own escape. So I went to Paris, and then on to other places. I continue to be fascinated by those who leave all that is known and familiar and set their feet upon—to borrow a phrase from Nathaniel Hawthorne—unaccustomed earth.

While not intending to be a blog in any strict sense—my quotidian life being far too mundane for any regular sort of reporting on its minutiae—this will be a space for some of my writing to inhabit, loosely stitched together by the themes of food, Italy, travel and the curious occupation of running a restaurant.

Thanks for reading,

Elizabeth Petrosian

contact: mangiaATburrascapdx.com