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Posts tagged ‘Sunday lunch’

The Little Things

Few things characterize the new pace of our life like this classic Vespa.

Few things characterize the new pace of our life like this classic Vespa.

We’re a year into our nuova storia in Italy. By now, you have the broad strokes. We left our home, jobs, friends and family to live full time in Italy. At the same time, we started exporting our own extra virgin olive oil along with olive oil from neighboring farmers to the U.S. I’ve written about our business, our day-to-day experiences and our delight in rediscovering the less complicated way of life we had pushed aside for so many years. But I haven’t spent much time chronicling the little things—the most wonderful, almost extraordinary moments that elevate our lives along with the tiny irritants and unfathomably strange practices that sometimes make us wonder what we’re doing here. Read more

Big and Small

Cappuccio is enjoyed in Italy in the morning and only in the morning.

Cappuccio is enjoyed in Italy in the morning and only in the morning.

Friends and family ask us all the time “ . . . what are the biggest differences between living in Italy and the U.S.?” It’s hard to say. There are the obvious things that are attributable to expatriate life—the language, the lack of a wide web of friends and acquaintances built over a lifetime and the sometimes-puzzling infrastructure comes to mind. But it’s often the subtle, smaller moments that sneak up and let us know that we’re not in Kansas anymore. And that’s a good thing. Read more

Buon Pranzo—Why it Matters

Getting ready to sit down for Sunday lunch.

Getting ready to sit down for Sunday lunch.

Sunday lunch is all about affirming what Pugliese value most: nurturing their families and ensuring that life is full of plenty. The bounty that appears every on family tables throughout this region has its roots in a less than abundant past. A good many of the grandparents I have met here remember dark, cold and hungry days when meat appeared on the table just twice a year. The harvest—animals, milk, grain, olive oil, wine and vegetable—cultivated on behalf of the landholder wasn’t theirs to keep, so a cuisine of creativity developed that featured wild and foraged foods like mushrooms, asparagus and wild greens all of them bursting with good health. We call them delicacies now. They take time to locate and even more time to prepare. We crave these dishes today, but they are still called cucina povera (poor cooking) for a reason. Read more

Buon Pranzo—Still at the Table

Encased in the lightest batter, then friend in extra virgin olive oil, la frittura di verdure is antipasto at its finest.

Encased in the lightest batter, then fried in extra virgin olive oil, la frittura di verdure is antipasto at its finest.

Now that we’ve finished the Sunday lunch first course, we’re settling in for the duration. We’re pleasantly full, but still captivated by what’s coming to the table. And still coming. An array of dishes has made its way to us and now we know that this is the moment when Pugliese cuisine really shines. Read more

Buon Pranzo!

One of the many star dishes in the Italian Sunday lunch constellation.

Pasta al forno, one of the many star dishes in the Italian Sunday lunch constellation.

Buon pranzo!” It’s the universal farewell pleasantry in Puglia during Saturday food shopping. It’s also appropriately shared when you run into friends early on Sunday, maybe at the bar when having a morning espresso. Sometimes it’s accompanied by a question about where you’re going or what you’ll be eating. Taken literally, buon pranzo means “good lunch,” but it’s really meant to acknowledge that Sunday lunch is around the corner, which is always an occasion for a greeting all its own. Read more

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