“Oh come stai?”
“Hey, how are you?
“Bene dai su Sabato era cogliere le olive”
“All good, went to pick olives on Saturday”
“Me ne porti una bottiglia”
“Can you bring me a bottle?”
“Mmm…quest’anno c’e’ ne sono poche…”
“Ah vabbè come non detto allora, sarà per l’anno prossimo”
The light turns green and we zoom off, the taxi driver sighs and whispers to herself “speriamo vada meglio l’anno prossimo”
This is the season for the most precious item on planet earth…L’olio nuovo.
Oh yes, because olive oil, in particular olio nuovo, is better than gold, and by far better than bitcoin.
In Italy we are lucky enough to have a family member, a friend, a friend of a friend, who produces olive oil and when November hits the round of calls begins…in search of one of those bottles filled with that still “green”, peppery, slightly spicy liquid in which we would love to bathe. Use it with purpose because it doesn’t come around that often, mostly in years like this one.
“Bisogna veder sel mar riceve o se el torna indrìo.”
“Hopefully the bad weather will tends itself into the Adriatic Sea and not on Venice”
High tide, the siren goes off, streets are going to flood….
Most of the world would panic, shut down… but no, not the Venetians, there’s no day off school (to the children’s dismay), rain boots on, footbridges up, high tide or not, life keeps running as usual… embracing these little moments.
LA MAGLIA DELLA SALUTE
“Mamma pizzica!! Ho caldo, posso levarla?”
“Mom it itches! I’m hot, can I take it off?”
“No amore, sennò rischi di prenderti l’influenza”
“No my love, you’ll risk get a cold”
If you grew up with an Italian mother, you know exactly what we are talking about….
As the seasons changed, our closets and garments did too; as the morning breeze got slightly chillier, our biggest nightmare appeared…”LA MAGLIA DELLA SALUTE” (literally translates as “the health shirt”) — the wool undershirt we were forced to wear as kids and that now we can’t live without. Beware our moms were right, not wearing it can cause cold, flu, or colpo di freddo.
The world is unfair…it’s true.
We Italians, simply, got so damn lucky.
Truffles, one more thing to add to the long list of reasons why Italy is the best country in the world.
The most costly ingredient in the world is nothing less than a fungi found on the roots of trees, the caveat? Those trees have to be Italian…
Wild, seasonal, uncultivable, not preservable, and found mainly in Italy. Lets not speak about the white truffle, the rarest most delicate kind, found ONLY in the Langhe area in the Piedmont region.
So if you get your hands on it, make sure to consume it “immediately”, raw – preferably shaved – with tagliolini and butter, battua al coltello (raw meat beaten with a knife), a sunny-side up egg, or semi-aged cheeses.
The leaves have turned yellow and red, the mornings are foggy and the day’s light is warmer yet shorter, the sagre (food fairs) have begun, the hard work has been completed… grapes have turned into wine and olives into oil, it’s time to layer up and enjoy. Festivity and the scent of calde arrosto (roasted chestnuts) is in the air. Road trips to small towns where traditions and community are still strong, where Fall feels a tad more cosy and special, are on tap during this time of year.