Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: amore, italia, italian, Italy, literature, love, poesia, poet, romance
This entry is in Italian, for no particular reason.
Una prova di poesia:
Una cosa veloce
ma proprio al volo cosi
Ti amo, ti voglio, e piacere come ti chiami?
Non so se e’ il destino o questo vino che mi fa sentire
che sembrano 200 anni che ti cerco…per dire
occhi sorridenti valgono mille parole
mi riscaldano l’anima, due raggi di sole
ma chi sei in fondo di tutto questo colore?
ci conoscemmo gia, sei un vecchio amore
in una vita passata mi avrai preso il cuore
Ora capisco, non sento piu nessun dolore
Un bacio che dura un’infinita’
un momento di paura, poi serenita’
e tutto questo dopo istanti passati
Ma quanto è strana la vita!
Filed under: Current Issues, Uncategorized | Tags: antisemitism, Europe, football, Italy, jewish, lazio, palestine, premierleague, seriea, soccer, sslazio, tottenham, uefa
The European community saw yet another display of Anti-Semitism at the Europa League soccer game between England’s Tottenham and Italy’s Lazio last Thursday during a high tension game in Rome.
Tottenham is known for having a strong Jewish following from Northern England. These fans were attacked without merit at the game, with remarks from Lazio fans including “Juden Tottenham” calling upon difficult memories from the second World War. “Free Palestine” was also among the chants from Lazio fans, touching upon the current and continuing situation between Israel and Palestine.
In unfortunate situations such as this, one can truly see the power that this sport has beyond the pitch, as fans take matters into their own hands…transforming the sport from enjoyable passtime to personal attack. The World Jewish Congress has asked that Lazio be removed from the Europa league for their racist commentary, as the team seemed to support their fans’ opinions.
Regardless of the tolerance and anti-racism campaigns run by UEFA in recent years, it’s disheartening to see that hatred still very much exists in this organization.
Soccer, or football as they say, is much more than a sport in Europe, but a means for fans to identify with a political, economic, national, and racial past. This adds an interesting dynamic to each game, as one roots for the team that truly represents their personal experience. Displays of hatred and violence at games bring unfortunate realities into the limelight.
Where do we go from here? Have you had any personal experience with sports related racism and intolerance? Please share your stories, everyone deserves to be heard.
At least I am a Juventus fan
Filed under: Current Issues | Tags: cheese, earthquake, food, italia, Italy, natural disaster, parmigiano reggiano, price for food
As many of you know, the Emilia Romagna region (famous for production of Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano) of Italy was hit bad last month by a series of relentless earthquakes. May 20th and 29th were bad days in the world of cheese producers, as years of careful aging and hard labor toppled to the ground.
According to a letter published by the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, damages include:
- 37 factories effected in towns of Mantova, Modena, and Reggio Emilia
- 600,000 wheels were effected in the quake
- Of those 600,000 wheels, 50% can be saved and continue on in aging for eventual sale as certified DOP Parmigiano Reggiano
- 300,000 wheels (amounting to roughly 10% of annual production) have been irreparably destroyed.
What does this information say about the market? For those of you who are unaware, the rise and fall of price in Parmigiano Reggiano is monitored as closely as the NYSE. Weekly, a private Italian dairy consulting firm (www.clal.it/en) produces a stock market-esque analysis of the supply/demand chain of prices for all forms of cheese and dairy products in Italy.
The top line representing Parmigiano Reggiano, you can see that prices in 2011/12 are above 12 Euro per kg (roughly $8/lb) in ITALY! At Whole Foods this dairy gold sells for over $20/lb. While prices are suspected to fall in 2013, based on the simple laws of supply and demand it will take roughly 2 years to replace the destroyed product.
Being a salesman for imported Parmigiano Reggiano, this is not good news for me. Will Parmigiano Reggiano retain it’s standing title as the “King” of cheeses? Most likely… it seems people will always pay to be satisfied…the joys of niche markets!
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: asian cuisine, balut, Eggs, food, thailand, weird food
Balut, a Southeast Asian treat.
Translation: FERTILIZED DUCK EMBRYO BOILED ALIVE AND EATEN!!!!!!!
…but the locals call it an aphrodisiac…and believe me, nothing makes you feel sexier than biting into the crunchy, partially developed skeletal structure of an unborn animal.
Sold as street food in the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, the locals eat this stuff up with various spices and garnishes. Honestly all the hot sauce in the world couldn’t convince me that this is a good idea.
Taken directly from Wikipedia: “All of the contents of the egg may be consumed, although the white may remain uneaten; depending on the age of the fertilized egg, the white may have an unappetizing cartilaginous toughness. The ideal balut is 17 days old.”
Ugh. Call me culturally insensitive, but this is absolutely disgusting.
Filed under: Michelle's World | Tags: Culture, Food Politics, Grassroots Gourmet, Italian food, Italy, rant
Long story short…I was living in Italy illegally in the house of my very intense Southern Italian ex boyfriend. I returned to Italy in 2010 (until nov 2011) on impulse for solely irresponsible and emotionally driven purposes and learned much from my particular choices I made. This is not meant to be a Tony Robbins type diatribe, I digress.
I love that goddam country, but I needed a brief hiatus from the land that stole my heart.
“Michelle, you neglected Grassroots Gourmet like a mother of a crack baby”, you might rightly accuse. My simple response: I am sorry, I had very limited access to the internet because in many parts of Italy the calender year is still assumed to be somewhere in the mid 1600s.
I am still involved with “Il Bel Paese”, working as the Western regional sales manager that represents specialty food brands imported from Italy. No, my love affair with prosciutto, parmigiano, and pasta was not disgraced with an intercontinental move. It is very much alive and bulging at the waste-line.
Grassroots Gourmet might take a more personal turn these days, as my apathy in the world of Food Politics has overcome my desire to preach something obsolete. My cynicism is also undergoing an epic resurgence.
Fans, loyal readers, this is Grassroots Gourmet. Welcome back.
Filed under: Michelle's World
It has been almost 6 months since I’ve written here. I apologize to all of my readers that I have been away so long, but in the past 6 months I have undergone one of the most challenging periods of my life thus far. This post isn’t your typical Grassroots Gourmet organic food diatribe, but rather, a therapeutic stream of consciousness exercise that I need to clear my mind. I hope you’ll be able to follow….
For the past 2 years I’ve felt like a woman without a home base. I live in a country where my legal status is questionable, in an apartment that isn’t my own, constantly feeling blockaded by matters of the heart and mind. What is this anxiety that I’ve allowed to rule my every action? I am allowing the very foundation of my personality to succumb to the erosion of my external circumstance. In situations such as this we so desperately seek a balance, but it’s difficult to find under such immense pressure.
I now understand how all the illegal aliens of the United States feel, part of a group, a nation, but always alienated by the mind-rotting thought of being torn away from the small empire upon which they have constructed their lives.
A most important question arises, where do we go from here? Is there a point that we must decide that the lives we lead will no longer result in positive outcomes, a point where we realize that no matter how hard we try to make things work, ultimately the structure will crumble like cliffs into the sea.
Here I am, I offer myself entirely to fate, as it is this belief, this element of hope that allows humanity push on in times of difficulty, in times of strife. The human mind is strong, but when one reaches the tipping point, the question we must ask ourselves is “will we persevere, or will we breathe in the water of a strong tide and let it sweep us away?”
Life pushes on, whether we like it or not. We cannot stop time, but simply float along with this design that is much more complicated than our comprehension. We have two options, to latch on to this intricate web we call society, or simply let go and fade away.
A saving grace can be found in pursuing passion. In finding something you love and putting every ounce of energy (both negative and positive) into maintaining this element of our individualism. It isn’t always easy, but it is much better than any medication.
When I write I allow the blank page to consume my thoughts entirely. Every word I write is direct proof of progress, a creation all my own that delivers direct satisfaction of the endeavours of my persona.
What is your passion? Take a moment to think about it, to really immerse yourself in the thoughts and activities that allow to emboss your existence in the rhythm of life.
This is my legacy. What’s yours?
Filed under: Michelle's World | Tags: balsamic vinegar, food tours, Gastronomy, Italian government, Italy, parma italy, parmigiano reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma
The lack of posts can be easily justified by the explanation of the utter chaos and insanity that has been endured in the past 3 weeks of my life. I know most of you come to this blog to read about the adventures of my stomach, but this time the only thing my stomach wanted to do was flip and eject itself from the rest of my body (no I did not suffer a digestive virus).
Here is the a list of events that may contribute to the development of my unforeseen schizophrenia:
1) The organization of Italian Bureaucracy is like a scene out of a 3 stooges film. One person bumping into the next, running in circles around each other trying to feign some thread of structure. This has thus made my immigration process absolutely laughable….to say the least I was given an appointment in MARCH to meet with the immigration office.
2) I currently live in a hotel, and my residence naturally, has been booked by someone else in January, forcing me to find a new place to live in very little time. The upcoming Christmas season does not help.
3) I GOT A JOB! As a gastronomic tour guide for Parma Golosa, a food centered travel agency here in Parma. I’ll be giving Americans tours of Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto, and Balsamic Vinegar factories here in the area. They’re even giving me a car!
After all this mess, I’ve come to realize that my life is like a Woody Allen film…only perhaps a little bit less intelligent.
We’ll have to see what’s in store for the next installment of “My Life is a Mess.”