I suppose if anything deserves its own festival, it’s chocolate.
The only question that comes to mind is: why did it take me thirty-odd years on this planet to attend a party in honor of chocolate? Because, once again, Italy has its priorities straight. That’s why. Which other country would lovingly dedicate its time and energy to such humble pursuits?
These sagras, or festivals in honor of a specific gastronomic delicacy, never cease to amaze me, and bring a whole new perspective to life. Stand after stand of fantastically-crafted delights. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s entirely possible that Italy’s role in the world may just be to teach everyone else how to slow down, and rather than smell the flowers, taste the (insert food of choice here).
After all, it is what they do best.
Getting a private home lesson from a personal master chef: my mother-in-law, direct from Caserta…
La pizza con la scarola, traditionally made in Southern Italy at Christmas and New Years (but as far as I’m concerned any regular Saturday is a fine excuse).
Greek (kalamata) olives
Capers (rinsed, sparingly)
Hot pepper flakes
Christmas in Italy, step 3:
Il primo (1st course) of linguine with fresh shrimp, zucchini, and pachino tomatoes, and secondo (2nd course) of baccala’ paired with frittura of calamari and shrimp.