“Delicious”-Nicky Pellegrino

February1

I have shared with you, my new favourite author and promised some more excerpts from her writings.  This is first of many from “Delicious” which is the story of three generations of  Italian women and the old kitchen in Campania which binds then together.

“Food was what she loved.  Shopping for it at the market stalls piled with glossy, purple-coated aubergines, dirt-dusted field mushrooms, ripe red peppers and artichokes with their hard green leaves tightly clasping their hearts.  She loved unpacking her bounty and imagining the extra life she could bring to it with a lashing of chili sauce or a sizzle in oil over high heat.  But most of all she loved eating it, greedily tasting as she cooked , licking her fingers and the backs of spoons, piling it onto plates and bowls, or sometimes eating more than good for her right out of the pan.  Marketing strategies and leveraging opportunities were all very well but she could hardly be blamed if they didn’t fill her with the same passion as a tray of slow-roasted tomatoes bathed in balsamic vinegar or a slab of beef braised with red wine and onions until the meat fell softly from the bone….

She was clever with food, always had been.  As a child she helped her mother, Maria, in the kitchen almost from the moment she could walk.  First she’d been allowed to stand on a chair and stir the gravy for the Sunday roast to stop it sticking and then she’d graduated to rolling out the pastry when her mother made a pie, stealing the off-cuts for jam tarts and turn overs.

When she looked back over those years, it was the tastes and smells of the meals they’d made together that stoked Chiara’s memory more than any particular event or moment.  Still vivid in her mind were winter dishes of pork sausages wrinkled from simmering in thick brown gravy, huge comforting helpings of shepherd’s pie with a crispy crust of cheddar, or plates filled with oven-roasted cod and fat crinkle cut chips that they could never resist wrapping in over-buttered soft white bread and devouring as the heat of the fried potato melted the butter which ran down their hands.”

You can see that Chiara has not embraced her Italian heritage at this stage and those delicious chapters are yet to come.

Kath’s quote: “It is impossible to read English novels without realizing how important a part food plays in the mental as in the physical life of the Englishman.”-Elisabeth Luther Cary (1867-1936)


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One Comment to

““Delicious”-Nicky Pellegrino”

  1. Avatar May 22nd, 2012 at 11:29 pm Emmanuelle Says:

    It’s a relief to find soemone who can explain things so well


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