Snippets ( Frammenti)

Well good news today for all those Italian Salami makers. The USA has lifted its 15 year ban on Italian semi cured meat products that includes salami and bacon. Italy has been cleared by APHIS of having swine vesicular desease. Now before you Google it I already did and basically it is a rather nasty  little number that brings pigs out in skin lesions, is incurable and is caused by feeding them untreated garbage.  So that is really good to know isn’t it? No problems let’s all go back to eating Italian salami except of course apart from our cousins in the USA we all have been haven’t we !

I was trying to think when I read this good news how many salami panini I have eaten here and how much Italian salami we ate in the UK and, of course, pancetta goes in so many dishes down here as well. Mind you nor have I broken out in skin lesions nor died, so clearly I was not munching on pig meat that had generously been fed untreated garbage by it’s owner. Don’t you just love these farmers. What are the two constants about farmer’s you never hear a happy one and you never met a poor one.

Luckily cooked hams, cured hams and mortadella were not part of the ban as the process kills off the disease rather than the farmers not actually feeding them untreated garbage. I am very partial to a few slices of mortadella and this is it in my local store.



They had it on offer at €3 for half a kilo ( 1 pound) the other day which is bargain basement pricing as it normally €23 a kilo. I now have a fridge full. Mortadella to me is a rich man’s spam

Like him or hate him Silvio Berlusconi is one of those natural communicators. He is similar to Bill Clinton in being able to relate to the ordinary person and on the normal U.S. litmus test of ” would you want to have a beer with this guy” when they judge potential Presidential candidates he would come well up my list as would say Boris Johnson. I might not agree with their politics but boy would they be entertaining. The PD government ( lefties) have got their knickers in another twist over electoral reform and are wringing their hands about it whilst ignoring canceling the hated IMU ( tax)  canceling the 1% increase in  IVA ( sales tax or VAT) and doing something about the terrible level of unemployment here. Last night on telly Silvio (Pdl righties) was asked about the Electoral Reform and he turned to the camera and asked can we Italians eat Electoral Reform ? Will it put more bread on our table ? Now the way to every Italian heart is to talk about mangiare ( to eat) and then he added to the camera is Electoral Reform going to get our young back to work. No he said tax reduction and lowering the burden on industry to employ youngsters is what is needed. It was a lesson in communication skills that none of the career politicians in Rome possess and certainly not our leader Sr. Letta who would send you to sleep over your first beer in the bar. ( But Frau Merkel loves him so  maybe she doesn’t go to pubs).

They Are Only Words is the song.

I talked yesterday about the Michelle Obama’s olive tree and it’s age. In fact I read today that several have been carbon tested down here in Puglia and are over 2,000 years old. We also know this because a Roman writer on agricultural matters called Columella actually toured a couple of olive groves here and noted the position of the trees. It seems that these huge trees are tracked each day by satellite to ensure they are not stolen as they are protected and their positions exactly match the ones noted by Lucius Columella. If ever you are in Cadiz in Spain you can visit his statue as he was born there of Roman parents.

Quite how you would run off with a 2,000 year tree with a 14 metre girth is quite beyond me but it’s nice to know they are being watched.

We are buzzed by an helicopter a few times a week from the forestry police who are looking for illegal swimming pools . They got particularly interested when we were building our patio as from the air when we were leveling the ground it looked like a pool I guess. I was all for buying blue tiles and putting them on to really get them excited.  I have no idea of the cost of these things and indeed the cost of yet another police force on the national purse but it would seem easier just to subscribe to Google Earth wouldn’t it?

Many Italians claim that the pool is for water storage and that they have merely decorated the area around it and have bed-chairs etc to make it look nice. Not a bad wheeze and if you know the right people it is a good enough one to escape a fine and having to fill your pool in again.



About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
This entry was posted in Driving in Italy, Expat Italy, Ferries From Bari, Puglia, Puglia Food, Puglia Guide, Puglia Living and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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