Once again the joys of being unemployed and having nothing to do have not let me down. I spent many hours over the weekend and on Monday working on my book. By Monday afternoon, I needed a break and went for a walk and an afternoon spritz.
We were sitting next to a table of men from Sardenia. They had brought their own wine and grappa and baby pig to eat! Guess they dont like the food/drink in Northern Italy? Anyway, they were all very friendly and shared their stash. "Attenzione Susan, 16" is what they told me when I took a sip of the wine. They meant 16% alcohol....wow...those Sardenians are hardy people! The cooked pig was fabulous...I am pretty sure I never had a baby pig before and it was a bit sad seeing its little tiny hooves but the taste was harmony in my mouth!
The Sardenians informed me that their island is the most beautiful in the world. Wait, I thought that was Venice and why I was here, right?! And, of course, a fellow American chimed in with Tahiti which made everyone laugh. Perhaps I will have to take a trip down to the second largest island in Italy (Sicily being the first) and see what it is all about.
After the pig, we had a bit of a 'digestive' called Mitro. Digestive drinks are very popular in Europe...in Germany these have Schnaps and over here they have Grappa and Limoncello. Usually instead of dessert, they will have a small shot of one of these to 'start the digestive' process after their meal. This is probably a good idea since people eat very late and need some extra help with their tummy before going to bed. Of course, we were eating in the afternoon, but who am I to buck tradition?
Eating is a very social event in Italy. In America, we eat with others because its the only time we have to see people--sort of a multi-tasking event. Here, its about the company and the conversation--and all of it is made better by good food and good drink. Who knew that a little afternoon walk would turn out to a meeting of new people and a sharing of culture. I like that!