October 22, 2010

Arrival in Ferrara

I am safely in Italy, buying persimmons and chestnuts from street vendors. My dad and I are making artichoke sauce for fresh pasta and planning the typical Friday evening fish dinner. We went to a local butcher who, because Ferrara in one the Po River delta and so close to the ocean, has a wide variety of fresh catch from which to choose. We chose a fish called the "praying fish", which aligns with this Catholic Friday fish tradition and comes from the Adriatic Sea.
Food binds people in Italy, nourishes them on a level much deeper than simple caloric exchange, creates traditions that build bridges of understanding through the respect for regional culinary identity, and engenders joy in the hearts of those who share them. May we all honor our traditions.
I feel so lucky to have a homeland to which I can return, a source that feeds me and reminds me of the child-like bliss that comes through when I am not attaching myself to the false sense of duty or ownership that comes from being wrapped up in the repetitive patterns of my daily life. I am grateful to be here.
Ferrara's unique Romanesque-style catherdral glows with pink Italian marble:

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