When I wrote that Crock Pot should look to expand to the Italian market, it was a crock. I was still woefully ignorant of Italian habits regarding electrical gadgets. It turns out it will be a cold day in hell when an Italian leaves the house with a machine running, especially one involving any form of heat whatsoever. Half of them even disconnect the gas line to their stoves every time they step outside. Mea maxima culpa.
I have discovered the Italians secret to wearing white, and it's not having Mediterranean skin tone (because half of the country does not - although that doesn't hurt, for sure).
It's also not buying new white things every few months, which is what some of my American friends do. Because when you only wear linen, you can't just go around replacing it all the time, now can you?
It's the WASHING MACHINES.
The standard Italian washing machine (like ours, which is 35 years old and the best washer I have ever used EVER) doesn't have a "hot," "warm," and "cold" setting, corresponding to the house's hot and cold water systems. Instead, you can set the exact temperature of the water, and the machine heats it for you - up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit (90 Celsius) - almost boiling.
Thus the absence of unsightly yellow armpit marks.
Thus the absence of that mysterious grey color that comes from New York City laundromats of which you would be ill-served to contemplate the precise origins.
Thus the convenient disinfection of all your clothes. Many Italians don't even wash their darks at lower than 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit), so they don't lose the disinfectant power of their washers.
Where are you on this one, Maytag??
Italians are the masters and commanders of small kitchens, and not just because of what they do there (master and command), but also because of an invention that GOD KNOWS WHY has not reached America. You people in the suburbs will think that there is a good explanation for this (SPACE), but having lived in New York City, I assure you that there is not.
In an American kitchen, you have the sink, the cabinets, the countertop, the stove, the oven... And then next to the sink you have THIS:
...which, if you are a normal human, is more like THIS:
In Italian kitchens you have the sink, the cabinets, the countertop, the stove, etc. But next to the sink you have THIS:
So, just to make it clear, you have:
This V. This
And that is because those kings and queens of the Bella Figura, those masters of disguise, those crafty kitchen craftsmen (the largest exporter of kitchens in the world is Italy), above all their kitchen sinks, have THIS:
Despite the power of the information age, there are some brilliant inventions that have not yet made it from one side of the global village to the other.
One thing that has not yet made the journey back to the Old Country is the Crock Pot. Americans tend to be humble about this time-saving device, but they shouldn't be, because this is one major area of "suck it, Italy." This small, inexpensive, low-voltage work horse of melt-in-your-mouth roasts conquers your nastiest kitchen adversaries (like whole chickens and squashes) with slow, steady, and irresistible power that WILL NOT burn your house down. And, more importantly, the things that come out of it taste identical to the ones you spend eight hours standing over yourself, admiring the shiny yellow exterior of your Le Creuset. Which is shiny because, let's be honest, when DO you spend eight hours standing over it? Ain't nobody got time for that.
Compare the level of human engagement.
America v. Italy
Ok, maybe I am exaggerating. Slightly. But Italians, who are not ideological about food as long as it's good (and who work, too, for heaven's sake! just not for pay, but that's a whole other post...), would be a great market for you, Crock Pot. And now you have even been advertised on this very prestigious blog. Time to cross the pond.
I'm an American living in Italy and making gross generalizations about it.