Odd what connections come up when you blog about beloved and furry pets masquerading as food for the down and out (see On Tuscans Eating Cat if you can stomach it). Mike, a reader who keeps me from reasonable hours of sleep by twisting together new paths in my neural network (or something), brings up the song Creuza de Ma by the Genoese cantautore Fabrizio De Andre. It’s a beautiful song in Genoa dialect that mentions going into a tavern to eat a dish characterized by “an apparently widely known phrase (in Italian), ‘Lepre di Tegole’ – rabbit of the roof tiles, i.e. cat.”
Whatever you think of De Andre’s _pasticcio in agrodolce di lepre di tegole_—baked tubes of pasta with sweet-sour “hare of the roof tiles” or cat—the song is a fabulously meaty one about those odd intersections—between the sea and land, between the normal and the odd, between the endless voyages of the mariner and “normal folk”. So the food the mariner imagines sitting down to at the casa dell’Andrea alternates between normal and odd:
fried little fishes
lasagna with 4 sauces
baked pasta with cat
which reflect the oddness of the life of the mariner, the endless traveler trying to return to his roots, or trying, at least, to ferret out what is normal about those imagined roots. I go through it every time I return to my ancestral home, Illinois, from Italy. The food is certainly a bit different there. And white. Very, very white. And the meals are wineless. All very odd.
In any case, hear the song sung in the Genoese dialect: italian music: creuza de mä