Leaning Towards Pisa by Sue Howard

By Sue Howard

It's a true existence tale that sounds too sturdy to be precise: destiny fingers a girl an opportunity to desert her annoying activity, make a clean begin in Italy, have a passionate affair - and open a complete new chapter.

'I don't comprehend what triggers are at paintings to draw humans, to inexorably pull one to the opposite, I in basic terms understand that at a undeniable aspect you provide in, you cease brooding about it, and also you abandon your self to no matter what lies ahead.'

Like such a lot of girls, Sue Howard was once knowledgeable at juggling a becoming tower of labor with a shrinking slice of non-public lifestyles till a stabbing soreness in the course of the evening forces her to take inventory. After emergency surgical procedure, her health care professional orders a truth fee - and an extended relaxation. while she is invited to proportion a home in Italy, Sue all at once makes a decision that instead of simply take a vacation, she'll give up her task for solid and take an opportunity. It's a major choice. There's relatives, kids, even grandchildren, and a courting, however the entice of the nice unknown proves too robust.

Once she will get to Italy, the temptation to throw warning to the wind turns into even superior and she or he accepts a role instructing English in Pisa, the place she slowly yet definitely falls in love with a spot the place humans understand how to actually stay, the place paintings is figure and lifestyles is existence, to be embraced with gusto each day. As Sue learns to imagine in addition to converse Italian, she falls below the spell of a captivating professor who c

ompletes her seduction through a rustic the place delight in nutrients and wine is an paintings shape, a day leisure virtually obligatory and being under pressure at paintings downright very unlikely - simply what the medical professional ordered.

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Come ha scritto Le Goff, «le realtà politiche e mentali del Medioevo italiano sono, ben più che l’Italia, gli italiani»8. A qualcosa del genere si riferisce Salimbene da Parma, il frate cronista che nel XIII secolo osserva: «i vini rossi di Auxerre non sono così buoni come i vini rossi italiani»9. È vero che, ancora nel Trecento, i ricettari di cucina paiono muoversi in una logica più «europea» che «italiana»: le denominazioni dei piatti – nei pochi casi in cui compaiono – rimandano all’uso teutonico o yspanico, di Francia o d’Inghilterra (per non parlare dei piatti di evidente ascendenza araba) non meno di quanto richiamino usi locali della penisola.

Le olive «all’ascolana» assumono tale denominazione solo quando oltrepassano i confini della città natale – salvo subito rientrarvi per una sorta di effetto boomerang. La proposta che questo libro avanza è di spostare la nozione di identità dal piano della produzione (cui normalmente viene riferita) al piano dello scambio. In tal modo, non sarà difficile rinvenire una circolazione di usanze alimentari, di conoscenze gastronomiche e di pratiche di cucina che da tempo assai antico fanno esplicito riferimento a un contesto «italiano»: tale, si badi, non in virtù di una qualche omogeneità delle culture locali (ciascuna delle quali mantiene una sua specifica connotazione e diversità), ma proprio a partire dalla loro diversità, che si delinea nel momento stesso in cui entra in circolo.

Da questo testo derivano, con adattamenti più o meno sensibili a diverse realtà regionali, il Libro della cucina di Anonimo toscano, compilato verso la fine del XIV secolo19, e numerose altre «varianti» che Bruno Laurioux ha pazientemente inseguito negli archivi europei, giungendo alla conclusione che «il Liber de coquina è stato utilizzato, nelle sue diverse incarnazioni, fino alla fine del XV secolo ed è stato conosciuto in tutta l’Italia, e anche fuori della penisola, in Francia e in Germania»20.

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