Things Green

by Michael Tucker
Print Email

asparagusguysWhen Italians bid you goodbye between the hours of 11:00 in the morning and 1:00 in the afternoon, rather than saying, “See you around” or “Have a nice day,” they say “Buon pranzo,” which is a wish for you to have a good lunch. There’s the difference right there.

Lunch is the uppermost thought — not just that you’ll have lunch but that it will be a good one, seated at a table, with the proper water and wine. You’ll take time; you’ll have a few courses. And because you’re in Italy you won’t overeat or drink because that would not present a bella figura, which is so important to these splendid people.

Perhaps the explanation for the superior quality of Italian food is that for centuries there’s been an eager, appreciative audience expecting it — demanding it — at every meal. 

Allora. After hunting for the elusive asparagus — sometimes on our knees — and coming up with barely enough to put into a dish of pasta, we ran into this guy on the street in Spello, which is a beautiful town just up the road from us.

Asparagi for everybody!

bestsaladLast night we had dinner at Martin and Karen’s house. Here’s the view from their terrazza. The walled town is Campello Alto, which overlooks the Spoleto Valley.

Martin served salad from his garden to start the meal. Every leaf, sprig and bulb — of which there were at least ten or twelve varieties — comes from the same family — rucola or arugula in the English.

Who knew?

It was the tastiest (and freshest) salad I have ever eaten, filled with spicy, peppery, mustardy greens and shocking radishes.

Buon pranzo!

 

Michael Tucker is an actor and author whose recent novel is "After Annie."  He writes about his love of food on his blog Notes from a Culinary Wasteland.

Comments   

0 #1 Lynn McBride 2013-05-16 13:43
I'm too lazy to search for wild asparagus here in Burgundy but my neighbor just fed me the freshest, thinnest white ones with a creme fraiche herb sauce--fabulous . Spello by the way, is one of our favorite Italian towns. Buon Pranzo!
Quote

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

 

restaurant news

The Bentwood Tavern
Michigan
by Lisa Dinsmore

boats.jpgOn our recent trip to Chicago, my husband and I found ourselves fairly secluded from the outside world as we cared for my aging father-in-law while my mother-in-law got a much needed vacation....

Read more...
Fraiche
Los Angeles
by Maia Harari

fraiche.jpgI know I’m really late to the game on this one, but I finally went to Fraiche in Culver City. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t just chance that kept me from trying it. It’s not that I don’t want...

Read more...
The Dream Away Lodge
New England
by Michael Tucker

dream-awayWhy did I love our dinner at this place so much? Could it be that The Dream Away Lodge is rumored to have been a brothel during the Depression years, which speaks of a rich history of satisfying...

Read more...
Seiyo Sushi and Wine Shop
Boston
by Kitty Kaufman

seiyo sushi-barSeiyo Sushi & Wine Shop in Boston's South End on Washington Street has a patio where you can eat as well as watch ambulances shrieking their way to Boston City Hospital but all in a good way. Our...

Read more...