“Thin” kitchen, that’s what the “magro” part means here. No, not a galley kitchen. Not a New York loft kitchen. Not even a Paris apartment kitchen. Skinny food. That’s cucina di magro. Vegetables. Legumes. Fish. Fruit. Shellfish. The bones of the Mediterranean diet. No meat, at least none that walks around on four legs. Or … More Carnevale Goeth: Dipping into Austerity via Cucina di Magro
Fritters and Carnevale, lumped together like ham and eggs, mashed potatoes and gravy, risi e bisi, rice and beans. Ricotta fritters, to be exact. True, most people associate ricotta fritters more with St. Joseph’s Day, March 19 in Italy. But those fritters lean toward the filled variety, sweetened, creamy ricotta delivering a tantalizing surprise with … More Carnevale Cometh: Ricotta and Fritters, Oh My Goodness!
What of calzone? And its cousin panzerotti? As cousins will often do, both look alike, except for size. And both end up seated at the communal table for celebrations like Carnevale. Calzone comes from a Latin word, calceus, meaning shoe, and may have been in used in everyday speech beginning around 1170. Today, the accepted … More Carnevale Cometh: Calzone, Yum Yum
Hereupon, a whole host of absurd figures surrounded him, pretending to sympathize in his mishap. Clowns and party-colored harlequins; orang-outangs; bear-headed, bull-headed, and dog-headed individuals; faces that would have been human, but for their enormous noses; one terrific creature, with a visage right in the centre of his breast; and all other imaginable kinds of … More Carnevale Cometh: Cenci by Any Other Name Would Taste as Sweet as Wine…
And now for the food of Carnival, as interpreted by cooks in what is now Italy. (See previous post on Carnival for more history.) Greasy, fatty, protein-rich, oozing with cheese or sugar, the dishes created for Martedi Grasso (Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday) served a higher purpose than merely feeding hungry stomachs: the severe Lenten proscriptions … More Carnivale Cometh, Again: Sumptuous Lasagne di Carnevale
Soon the streets of Venice will overflow with a flood – not of water, as usual – but of tourists and food. For soon the rituals of Carnevale, or Mardi Gras (also called Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday ) will once more surge into popular culture. The official date of Mardi Gras in 2022 falls … More Carnevale Cometh, and Lent Beckons
Note: I first wrote this post in 2008, when the U.S. had been at war in Afghanistan for seven years. Now it is 2021, thirteen years have passed, and we are finally leaving Afghanistan. But the price paid by all for war is not over. And never will be. The fall of Kabul on August … More Afghanistan … Where the Enchanted Snows Fall
To paraphrase Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was when I strolled through the grocery store, leisurely, a flâneur shopping for food with nary a care in the world.” Of course, many cares dominated my life – family, health, concern about the future of the planet. But grocery shopping, or browsing as … More What I Miss Most about My Pre-Pandemic Life