PRESENZA - Knowing what you eat

Photo: Charles Whalen Knowing what you eat

In the summer, you will find them in their gardens, surrounded by radicchio, beans, peperoncini (hot Italian peppers) and zucchini. They walk among the vines, and the pear and fig trees, as if they were still in Italy, on the paths that linked their native village to the gardens and fields. On their knees, as in prayer, they contemplate the plants they know so well because they have sown their seeds, propagated them and nourished their soil.

If you are lucky enough to be invited to their home, you can see them in the basement, just as serene, checking the state of the ricotta, or selecting a prosciutto or a jar of pickled eggplant. Surrounded by the produce of their own hands, they seem to be talking to old friends they will always be able to count on.

Of course, you will also find them in supermarkets, filling their carts with packaged, processed, modified and transformed products that have come from who-knows-where but are so very practical. Like us, they wonder about the nutritional value of those products. But they know that when they return home, they can leave their plastic bags on the table and check on the garden or bring some wine up from the basement. And that is reassuring.