One day I will tell you about the gnocchi that float like clouds on a pool of herbed butter. But today, I want to look back on the Sicilian days and think about the company, not just the food.
You see, all my life has been a food talk desert of sorts. Chez nous, one doesn't talk about food at table, thank-you-very-much. Yes, you may say "this is very good", but actually, it's always very good, so why would you? Signify your approval by asking for seconds, take your plate to the kitchen, and now let's have some coffee and Cifras y Letras.
In my family we even have a running joke about people who ask about empanada fillings, the gist of which is to signify how utterly lame it is to talk about such things as empanada fillings.
Which is to say, I could not have been happier during that week, sharing a table with a set of people who, apart from being very talented cooks, photographers, writers and what have you, are above all a magnificent bunch of food geeks. It was heaven. Imagine coming back from a beautiful twilight walk in the countryside, being given a chilled glass of wine, an apron, and sitting around while dinner is made. Fabrizia presides over the assembly, cooking, explaining, chatting, and handing out small jobs (chop this, sift that, go look for some mint in the garden, please). There is a relaxing background noise of cameras snapping, and a constant stream of talk. About the food here, there, everywhere. About utensils, ingredients, restaurants, methods, history, whatever. I do a drawing, nibble on some fritters (Sicily is big on fritters, bless it), have some more wine, and think, well, well, I can´t think of anywhere I´d rather be.