Our community lunch built around our village’s feast day, Sacro Cuore, is officially in the record books. We ate hearty and well. We used big, manly knives to cut our cheese. We took six hours to consume it all under a plastic, blue sun shade. It was the full deal. Antipasti and Prosecco, a pasta course of a duo of testaroli with pesto and with porcini, then a palate-cleansing farro salad followed by a main course of Francesca’s excellent wild boar, then watermelon, cheese, dolce (including a traditional cake made before the days of packaged leavening agents, leavened with stuff bought at a pharmacy), wine, mirto and probably more lost in the haze of the aforementioned excess. More pictures of the feast on the Wandering Italy Facebook page.
It was a time for joking in a foreign language and serious networking. We managed to get some free consultation time with a retired Italian lawyer. And we talked of the day after, the famous fourth of July, which every Italian knows or think they know…
Except they think it’s turkey day.
I’m not kidding, we spent quite a while trying to convince them turkey day was in November. I don’t think they bought it.
“So what do you give thanks for on the 4th of July?”
“Well, freedom I guess, but it’s not the thanksgiving day with the turkey, that’s in November.
So the next day, a thankfully cloudy July fourth morning, we step outside to work off a few calories by walking to the store in the next town over, Sericciolo, and we come upon two neighbors talking. They see us and bellow a greeting. Here is the rough translation of the terse conversation which didn’t include Martha or I.
“Ah, it’s an American holiday today, right?”
“Independence day!” volunteers Enrico in English, delivered with the flair of an Italian TV announcer surrounded by the never ending supply of scantily clad Italian womenfolk.
“Pity the poor turkeys!”
And that was that.
So we went to the store. I bought some nice pork spare ribs. I’ll make my own barbeque sauce and have a traditional fourth of July meat that I’ll eat with Martha’s Italian slaw.