Venice: The Alternative to Italy’s Pasta

Published by Tuesday, October 16, 2018 Permalink 0

by Jonell Galloway

No, I’m sorry. The staple of Venice is not pasta.

Yes, in Italy, they eat pasta, but Venice and the neighboring Veneto region are relative newcomers to both pasta and Italy. Venice and the Veneto, which the Venetian Republic dominated for centuries, only became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866 to escape the rule of the Austrian Empire, imposed after the Napoleonic Wars. Before that, the people of the Veneto didn’t speak much Italian; they primarily spoke Venetian. The Italian language and customs? They’ve adopted those, including pasta, relatively recently.

Abandoned agricultural storage building in a rice field in northern Italy

 

Continue Reading…

Never miss a post
Name: 
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries

Pumpkin and Anchovy Pudding

Published by Wednesday, December 27, 2017 Permalink 0

I baked my “yellow pumpkin,” my zucca gialla, which the greengrocer recommended as being the sweetest for my baked pumpkin pudding. While pulling out the seeds and flesh with my fingers, I noted some little hard, dark bits, so I pulled them out as best I could, all the time thinking it strange that they were there. When I went to my cutting board to get the chopped anchovies to add to my liver pâté, they were gone. I had kneaded them into my pumpkin. This may be the beginning of a new and improved (?) pudding. Some people like sweet and savory together, right?

 
Never miss a post
Name: 
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries

Venetian Hours: Window into the Past

Published by Friday, December 15, 2017 Permalink 0

by Jonell Galloway

We all have to let off steam from time to time. I do it through words, sometimes harsh, sometimes sweet; Venice does it through windows and steam-pipes.

Hand-shaped bricks were laid onto this marshland over a thousand years ago and still stand, the alder wood foundation stakes digging deep to reach the bottom sands of this shallow lagoon.

This wall tells a tall story, filled in over the centuries with newer bricks and stones, later covered with plaster, itself now crumbling with age, like family stories that change tones with the times and are embellished with black or white lace as we choose. Windows were carved out, later filled in and plastered over. A small window inside the older, larger one — for ventilation? — now itself bricked in, a simple steam pipe serving the purpose of ventilation today. It reminds me of that story about my great great grandmother who was kidnapped by an Indian chief for her beauty and the posses went out to look for her. It’s changed several times during my short lifetime, and I asked my mother: “maybe it was she who ran off with the Indian chief?” My imagination could go wild.

New-green plants nestle up close to darker, old ones. A half-timber overhang at the top recalls that Venice is in so many ways the door to the East and a city where old and new, East and West, uninhibitedeness and reservedness, have always lived comfortably alongside each other despite the natural elements being against her. I could study this façade for the rest of my life, unfolding its timeworn story, imagining the joy and the agony that went on behind this wall. Venice remains a city full of mystery, even after all these years of snuggling up tight with her.

 
 
 
Never miss a post
Name: 
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries

Venetian Hours: Bistrot de Venise

Published by Monday, November 13, 2017 Permalink 1

Stained glass isn’t only for churches. It’s also for temples of cuisine like the Bistrot de Venise.

 
Never miss a post
Name: 
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries

France Revisited

Published by Thursday, June 15, 2017 Permalink 0

From Venice to Chartres 

by Jonell Galloway

Venice is a memory. She is a magnet, pulling me forever into her depths, a cozy, labyrinthine nest I roost in, venturing into her damp, dark streets to come home to perch every evening. Venetian food is good, but not good enough to keep me there forever. Still, it was hard to leave her. She had become my best friend, the one I wanted to cuddle up with for the rest of my life.

Every time I set foot in Venice, I forget the rest of the world. I’d forgotten about crispy baguettes and sea-salt butter and unctuous raw-milk cream from Normandy that one can eat like yogurt. I’d forgotten that the history of “my” Chartres is as old or older than that of Venice, going back as far, we know, as the Druids and Romans.

Continue Reading…

Never miss a post
Name: 
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries

Venetian Hours: Looking for a Home

Published by Wednesday, May 3, 2017 Permalink 0

by Jonell Galloway

I’ve come home. No, I should state that differently. I’ve had to redefine home.

Bacino Grand Canal San Giorgio Maggiore Venice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have decided to spend winters in Venice and summers in France and Switzerland. I have been absent from The Rambling Epicure over the last year and a half only in body, not in spirit. I continue living like a nomad, often not taking time to unpack my suitcase, hopping from Venice to Chartres and occasionally landing in Switzerland, which is still officially my home.

I am alive and I even kick from time to time just to make sure I still can. During this long absence, I fought an unnamed virus. Italian, French and Swiss doctors agreed that it would pass and it finally has. It was, in principle, an entirely physical ailment, yet became trying to the spirit.

Continue Reading…

Never miss a post
Name: 
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries

Venetian Hours: Sant’Erasmo

Published by Sunday, April 2, 2017 Permalink 0

Venetian Hours: Sant’Erasmo, the Vegetable Garden of Venice

Chair in Venetian Lagoon Sant'Erasmo

Marsh in Venetian Lagoon Sant'Erasmo, the farm of Venice, Italy. Venezia, Italia.

Never miss a post
Name: 
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries

Venetian Hours: Torcello

Published by Friday, March 24, 2017 Permalink 0

Venetian Hours

by Jonell Galloway

A sunny day in Torcello, the birthplace of Venice, the island to which the Veneti fled from the barbarians.

 

Torcello, Venice, Italy Torcello Cathedral, Venice, Italy

Never miss a post
Name: 
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries

Venice Carnival 2017 – Riding the Lions of San Marco

Published by Wednesday, March 1, 2017 Permalink 0

Riding the Lion of San Marco Venice

Never miss a post
Name: 
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries

Venetian Hours: 500th Anniversary of Venice Ghetto

Published by Thursday, March 31, 2016 Permalink 0

Venetian Hours: 500th Anniversary of Venice Ghetto

by Jonell Galloway

Growing up in rural Kentucky, there were no Jews or Muslims. I wasn’t taught to distinguish between Gentiles, Jews and Arabs, and had no preconceived ideas about any of them. The only thing I knew about Jews was what I learned at my rather liberal Sunday School, where Jews were presented in a good light, since Jesus had been one, after all, and the Old Testament was part of our Bible.

Italian synagogue jewish ghetto venice Italy

It’s not surprising that, quite unconsciously, I have friends of all persuasions and felt at ease going to the opening commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Jewish Ghetto – the first one in the world, the term which came to be used around the world to describe a segregated enclave – at La Fenice opera house last night. Five hundred years ago, on March 29, 1516, the Venetian government decided to confine the approximately 700 Jews then living in Venice to a 10-acre area, on the site of a copper foundry. In fact, the word “ghetto” means “cast” in Italian and refers to this fact.

campo gheto novo ghetto nuovo Jewish ghetto venice italy italia

Although they were allowed to go into the city to work during the day, they were to sleep, eat and live in this small, enclosed space and return by sundown, when the gates to the ghetto were locked. The truth is Venice might well have had difficulty functioning at all if they had locked in Jewish doctors, lawyers, printers, cloth and spice merchants, bankers, musicians and dancing masters entirely. During this period, they were forced to wear yellow and red badges (colors associated with shame) to signify that they were Jews; the Nazis didn’t invent this concept.

street sign gheto novo ghetto nuovo Venice Jewish ghetto Italy campo dei ghetto italia

The evening was full of guest speakers of every Jewish persuasion, but my favorite was Simon Schama, a brilliant, dynamic British scholar, who has written extensively about the history of the Jews. It was not a celebration, but a commemoration of what the Jews have suffered and the resilience they have drawn from it and of the abundance of works of art and scholarship that arose out of it despite all the hardship. This word stuck in my mind: resilience. My Jewish friends and husband are the most resilient people I know; perhaps that’s why I’m so drawn to them, apart from their incredible intellect, appreciation of the arts, precision, and natural curiosity.

badge hat clothing jews venice ghetto italy italia

The ceremony was followed by the La Fenice Orchestra’s wonderful rendition of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, perhaps his work most influenced by traditional Jewish musical themes. I cried many tears, especially during the moving speech by Renzo Gattegna, President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, with his profound understanding and ability to speak of what it is to remain human, empathic and just under even the most humiliating conditions. At the same time, I drew great joy from this evening, knowing that I have the blessing of loving and being loved by so many Jews.

Interesting reading:

Timeline and history

History

Simon Schama and “The Story of the Jews”

The Jews in sixteenth-century England

East Meets West in Venice

 

 

 

Never miss a post
Name: 
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries
Search
Latest Tweets
IN THE MEDIA
MEMBER OF
Slowfood Les Artisanes de la vigne et du vin
IACP Member
Geneva Writers Group


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. The articles on this site may be downloaded and shared with others as long as they credit The Rambling Epicure, but they can’t be changed in any way or used commercially.

UA-21892701-1