Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Getting ready for the New Year

In Britain the weather is always a topic of conversation - largely because it is so changeable and unpredictable and perhaps even more so because it is entirely uncontroversial. In Italy food is the catchall conversational gambit. On today's Radio Subasio early morning breakfast phone-in caller after caller was spelling out in great detail exactly what they would be eating to welcome in the New Year and how exactly it would be prepared. Their descriptions were met with squeals of delight and approbation on the part of the studio presenters. With the possible exception of football nothing,but nothing excites the Italian imagination and verbal passion as much as food. All the local restaurants and hotels are open this evening with special menus priced in the region of E75 per head. There was an article in today's paper saying that more Italians are planning to celebrate at home this year because of the recession but in this part of Umbria everything is booked solid. We shall be entertaining at home having taken delivery of a batch of fresh langoustine from the fish market in Ancona.

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