To say that Italians love their food is quite the understatement. Like saying that Greenland is a little chilly or a few people live in China. Traditional Italian family meals might be considered feasts in other countries. Copious quantities of pasta, meat, salad and wine. Followed by dessert, cheese and nuts. No wonder then that they sometimes overdo it. And so also no wonder that they came up with an elegant and fun way to deal with excess-related indigestion.
Galeffi Effervescent Granules
There are plenty of solutions to indigestion and heartburn. But the Italian method is arguably the best. Simply dissolve a few Galeffi Effervescent Granules in a glass of water, and drink while the liquid is still bubbling. Fast acting relief from heartburn, indigestion or generally upset tummies. And it even tickles on the way down. Plus with its slightly lemony tang it is an excellent palate cleanser. And also an incredibly thirst-quenching beverage. Like sipping freshly made lemonade on a hot summer’s day.
But what are these Galeffi Effervescent Granules? Well they’re pretty much just Sodium Bicarbonate (AKA bicarbonate of soda or simply baking soda) and very little else. A slight lemony flavour is about it. But they’ve been around long enough to qualify as part of traditional Italian cuisine. Likely being first developed in the decades before the modern state of Italy was unified in the late 19th century.
They were initially a purely luxury item. Though now they are far more common, found in most good Italian supermarkets. Though abroad they can only be found in quality Italian Delis like Limoncello. They were never sold or marketed as a medicine. But nor as a sweet/candy. Instead being somewhere in between. Many Italians will tell you how as children they enjoyed Mama placing a single granule on their tongues to fizz away.
A Healthy Option
No-one really understands why, but many Italians tend to have sensitive stomachs. More than for many other nationalities. Perhaps it is a result of their diet. But since food gives them so much pleasure, finding a way to live with occasional indigestion is generally held as superior to switching to a bland diet. And who can blame them?
After all, it is well known that switching from ending a meal with tiramisu to ending it with half a grapefruit will remove up to 90% of the joy left in your life…
And for this, effervescent solutions in general do tend to be superior to tablets or pills. They dissolve in water quickly and easily, resulting in a homogenous solution the gut finds easy to absorb. This makes them both fast acting and efficient. Plus they are great for rehydration and easier to swallow than pills – often a problem when you’re feeling poorly. And the granules themselves are hardly delicate, and so are easy to store.
All in all, Galeffi Effervescent Granules are an elegant solution to issues of indigestion. A very Italian solution to a very Italian problem. And where can you find them locally? Limoncello, of course.
Credit: Thomas Farley