Go South!

The traffic was overwhelming. My travelling buddy May Karin, her three children and my two daughters stepped out of the train and went straight up to Quattro Canti, a very famous cross. The intensity of the noise, the heat and all the smells made us feel that this was a long walk, but it was not. We were hungry, and stumbled over a table, some red plastic chairs two centimeters from the road, where the cars and most of all, the vespas were driving. Later I found out that we had our first meal close to Ballarò, a famous piazza for street food.

From an old door to a basement kitchen someone asked us what we would like to eat. We ordered pasta. I happened to order pasta with ink from octopus.

The taste was incredible. The sauce tasted almost sweet, the flavour of the ink hit me as a crush of a new friend, and was so new for me, it had an earthy hint. The colors on the plate mixed with the taste blew me away. The sounds disappeared and everything went slow around me. I just had an explosion of taste in my mouth.

There and then I heard my father’s voice. I lived in Florence in my twenties and when I talked about North of Italy to him, he’d always say “Go South!” I had my first step of realizing what he meant. There is something special with southern Italian food. There is something with the southern Italian way of living. And there is something with the openhearted southern Italian people. So my friends, let’s go South!

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