Last Supper and Arrivaderci to Luigi and Grazia
by Rocco Verrigni
My day of just walking around Roseto and sitting at the beach for awhile was punctuated with lunch and dinner with my adopted family. There was the standard pasta, salad, frutta courses, followed by café. A light and yet satisfying repast that would sustain me until dinner at 8:30. What will remain in my mind is the image of Luigi standing at the stove with an apron around his waist, diligently attending to his brodetto that he had prepared for dinner. It was Friday and although no longer an edict from the church to abstain from meat, habits become tradition and tonight I was part of the Verrigni family’s Friday night tradition of fish for dinner. It was simply prepared as much of the regional and provincial food that I have eaten has been. There was calamari, scampi, coda di rospo (monkfish), triglie, and the a few other varieties, all native to the Adriatic waters. It was perfectly accompanied by a local white wine, pecorino, which takes it name from pecora, which means sheep, since the clusters of grapes are said to resemble he head of a sheep. Although not much of a white wine drinker, this pairing was perfect. Very refreshing, with subtle hints of fennel. It was another meal eaten with my new found family or just friends that was accompanied by lively conversation about an array of topics. Amazing how the limitations of language can dissolve with food as a common denominator. The simple repast ended with frutti, gelato, and café. I made sure not to overstay my welcome and said my buono nottes fairly early, with a promise to stop by in the morning to say goodbye before I started the next leg of my Italian adventure. Once again I returned to the locanda where I was staying with a very warm feeling of closeness and admiration for people I didn’t know until two days ago.
The next morning, I made my last trip to the Verrigni household for café, one last conversation, heartfelt thank yous, arrivadercis and a promise to return.
Arrivaderci, Luigi and Grazia and grazie from the bottom of my heart.