Convivium

I read today that George Orwell said only the worst writers stick Greek and Latin words into their text so I thought I would throw one in.  Hence the heading. Foreign words he said were equally as bad.

It is Latin for living together but also is used to describe the Roman feast or banquet the idea of which they once again stole from the Greeks but their word is unpronounceable.

The Pugliese seem determined to continue with this Roman tradition especially on a Sunday . Indeed the Romans only had three courses for their Convivium ( sorry George) whereas down here they get carried away.

Yesterday at Martino’s place we started with lasagna, moved quickly on to polpettepolpette

 

but in a sugo this time and then the meat from the sugo sauce. So in quick succession three courses were consumed along with wine.

Now Martino makes his own white wine and very good it is too.  He has a press in a disused garage and underneath it is his cellar. The wine from the press flows down a tube through an hole in the floor and below his son fills the demijohns during vendemmia ( by George I did it again). The good thing is his white is quite low alcohol about 7% proof so whilst not being able to drink it till the cows come home you can certainly have a good crack at seeing them at the farm gate.  Knowing the A team were coming he chilled wine he had stored in large 2 litre bottles.

home made wine

 

It takes some opening and Memo looks suitable in awe that we are to attack a few of these huge numbers.

take some pouring

 

it took some pouring too but we stuck to our guns and got through it.

Like every country I have lived in or visited, outside cooking is man’s work and so it is here so soon we were gathered around the outside oven offering advice none of which was followed as usual by the host. It still amazes me however that Italian guys are so knowledgeable about food and heated discussions were had about the different types of fig and their merits followed by an animated discussion on where certain cuts of meat resided ( shirts and T-shirts off to show placements)  and how to butcher them for the best results.  It makes a nice change from Chelsea or Manchester City.

As the chicken was coming out of the oven Martino’s son Oronzo arrived with fresh fish he had caught that morning  just off Savelletri . Now regulars will know that this fishing village on the coast is the home of the fictitious fish restaurant invented by one travel writer and copied by countless others. I couldn’t resist asking him which fish restaurant he would eat in there and he laughed and said there were none he would trust that the fish was actually fresh and not flown in from distant lands. There is not much out there he said. Four hours in his boat had yielded five smallish fish called Fragole ( whoops George) because they have a strawberry tinge.

So after the chicken came the fish and amazingly we made short work of them though I am sure I felt a small bone lodge in my throat so needed yet more of that wine. Oronzo quickly finished his, see the bones in his hand . He’s a big lad.

Fisherman

 

He told me he had lived in London for five months before he met his present wife who is in the photo too.  He had several English words and had clearly learnt plenty of swear words too. Each sentence had a liberal dose of sheet added for emphasis.

Where did you work I asked. South Kensington he replied. I got a job in an Indian curry restaurant. Me an Italian waiting table in a curry shop. How was it I asked. Sheet he said my clothes smelt of curry all the time. Difficult to pick up the girls when you smell like a curry shop he added. Still I guess he is one of the few Italians that can now swear in Italian, English and Hindi.

His wife lived in Barcelona for 2 years and they now have an 18 month son also Martino. We must get out she said passionately. For our small boy to give him a future. Canada is on their horizon maybe Montreal where they have friends. Sheet said Oronzo I can learn to swear in French too.

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 Thomas Cook. 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 Expat Italy, Ferries From Bari, Puglia, Puglia Beaches, Puglia Cooking, Puglia Food, Puglia Guide, Puglia Lifestyle, Puglia Living, Puglia Travel Information and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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