Tucked away for the summer in a small Tuscan village, it is tempting to ignore the tragic or frustrating news that goes on in the rest of the world and focus on what is an important subject in Italy: food.
A visit to the local market, where everyone looks in your basket to see what you might be cooking that day, can bring about unexpected instruction on what you should do with your items.
I bought some salami (Milano type, though this might cause a discussion at the deli counter), and was asked if I was going to eat it with figs. Side note: figs are in season now, though there is some concern that the green fig trees are producing more than the purple trees. Not so, others will argue. The purple trees are more abundantly fruited!
Back to my salami...no, I said, I liked figs with prosciutto. "NO!," I was admonished, "Salami e' piu buoni con fichi!!" (Salami is better with figs). This started a discussion in the deli line. There was a clear line drawn between those who preferred salami and those who liked prosciutto. Prosciutto (but only San Daniele!) edged out the salami people.
"Il sapore di salami e' troppo forte con fichi!" (the salami flavor is too strong with figs) they declared.
I suppose I should have been thinking of more serious things, but I was intrigued by the vehemence with which the salami vs. prosciutto people held their respective grounds on which one was better with figs.
So I decided to have a fig off at home. All the family and friends are gone now, so the only judges would be John and me.
We approached the task seriously. We had purple figs and green ones. We had thinly sliced Milano salami and equally thin slices of prosciutto (San Daniele, of course).
Our preference: prosciutto, but the salami-fig combination was pretty good, too.
We encourage you to have a fig off of your own and see what you think. Buon appetito!