One of the reasons we left Southern Cyprus was that the restaurants had slowly but surely moved away from the old brazier filled with charcoal to cook the various meats and introduced the deep frier instead. So you left the restaurant smelling like a chippy (fish and chips not carpenter) and with a greasy taste in your mouth. Only on trips to the north of the island into Turkish occupied Cyprus did you go back to charcoal.
Last night we chanced upon a restaurant nearby ( it was pouring with rain) and horror of horrors the place had three deep friers in action. The gold toothed front man enticed us out of the rain with a full menu but once inside began to parr it down with each of our requests, a little like the tea shop owner in Peter Sellar’s classic Balham – Gateway to the South
Humous ? off dear. Vine leaves? off dear and so on.
The meal was just like being back in Paphos and equally unappetising.
It reminded me of one of the reasons we moved to Puglia where food is seasonal and much is gathered by hand from the surrounding countryside. I am hoping that the wild asparagus is still growing along the back walls of my garden when we arrive there on Friday and I dream of meals to be eaten during the first week back that are made only from what is available fresh from the market during this period. If I don’t see another dish of rice or a soft noodle for some months I won’t be losing any sleep about it and as for deep fried chicken skewers well the less said about them the better.
Whilst thinking about other reasons for moving I again began to list a few in my mind (this as we traipsed around yet another mosque that used to be a church). One was the Italian flouting of things Politically Correct. It is refreshing to read and here comments that in most western countries these days would have the person almost hung drawn and quartered. Berlusconi was a master at it. Who can forget his comment about Angela Merkel that she wouldn’t have been invited to a bunga bunga party.
So it was with some delight that I read about pastry chef Angelo Bisconti who makes pastries for the good people of Campi Salentina near Lecce. He is driving his van as I write this towards Rome to arrive on the Via Veneto in time for President Obama’s visit there tomorrow. In the back are 5,000 pasticiotti that he has made to celebrate the great man’s arrival and he is giving them away free as well as sending some into the U.S. Embassy which is on Via Veneto. Angelo has made a special pastry which he is calling Pasticiotti Obama.
What has he done to his normal pasticiotti to make it an Obama one. Well explains Angelo I have added an extra ingredient . Yes asked the reporter. Chocolate to make the cake black . Hmmm , I’m sure the Obamas will love them. Campi Salentina has today added a new tag to the bottom of the town signs when entering the place. Home of the Obama cakes. Mind you it beats having the oldest most gnarled, wrinkled olive tree named after you which Michelle Obama had to put a brave face on and receive last year. from the city of Lecce.
Tomorrow and Friday are travel days so more from me on Saturday. Enjoy your end of the week. Oh alright one more mosque before I go.
Another question , I wonder how many people come to Istanbul to buy a carpet . There are shops everywhere but at prices that require a second mortgage it can hardly be an instant purchase. Oh why not dear lets blow £8,000 quid and figure out how to get it on Easyjet later.