Wednesday 11 July 2007

You Learn Something New......

.....every day. For instance, the fact that Pappardelle is not available at this time of year. Claudia fixed me with a surprised look, when I asked for some yesterday, and gently informed me - as to a small and slightly backward child - that it is only made during the winter months: e qualcosa inverniale! How could I not have noticed, after all this time? It's obviously one of those slightly odd cultural quirks that seem entirely without meaning to those from outside, but which firmly position you as somehow ....well......'not quite', if you manage to get it wrong. Like ordering a Cappuccino after midday, for example.... or, in Germany, cutting a potato with a knife (although I'm told that that one's dying out, and only dowagers of an exalted vintage would now be noticeably shocked by this solecism), or, in northern countries, ploughing straight into a glass of wine without first carefully catching the eye of every person sitting around the table before even raising your glass to your lips, or, in Japan, slurping your soup but not slurping your noodles....The list is endless, and the pitfalls ubiquitous!

Still, I'm lucky I didn't make the Pappardelle faux pas several years ago when Claudia's father was still running the show. He already had his doubts that anybody foreign could possibly know how to cook pasta - and explained the process to me carefully, on more than one occasion, and in words of one syllable - and had I blotted my copybook to the extent of asking for Pappardelle out of season, I suspect he would have concluded I shouldn't be allowed to roam the streets in possession of pasta of any kind, and would carefully have relieved me of the same, before summoning assistance!

Tonight's Dinner:

Squid with Peas and Tomatoes

Veal Burgers, with Red Pepper and Onion, with Fagiolini

Fig and Quince Tarts


The Passionate Palate said...

Fascinating! I never knew that either and I am married to an Italian. I suppose if we cease to learn then we are not living. And, those cultural differences are what make the world such a wonderful place, right? I dread the day that those differences disappear and the peoples of the earth become homogenized.

Pomiane said...

You know - that makes me feel a great deal better!

Anonymous said...

I knew that cheeses were seasonal but NOT pasta. It is so good to learn something new, I'll see what Giorgio Locatelli has to sy on the subject!