Wednesday, December 30, 2009


A picture's worth- well, you know how it goes. Even when it's not a particularly pretty picture, it's one to cause mouths to water all over Rome. Superstitious traditionalists that they are, Romans would sooner walk under a ladder with a trail of black cats in tow rather than bring in the New Year without a plate of cotechino e lenticchie.

A large ( about 3 inches thick and 8 inches long) spiced up pork sausage, cotechino and zuppa di lenticchie, lentil soup, pair up as Rome's New Year's Eve good luck meal. Lentils which resemble small coins insure prosperity. As for the pork sausage, well, I have my own suspicions about that given the plethora of phallic symbols all over the Eternal City.

Capo D'Anno, as New Year's Eve is called in Italy, is also the day that ancient custom demands the getting rid of all bad things from the past and making way for the new. Although now forbidden by law, Romans have traditionally done this by hurling unwanted items out of windows. Shoes, broken dishes, sofas, refrigerators - they all went flying out of windows like missiles at the ringing of the midnight bells.

It's a good night to stay inside, just in case, and enjoy the customary cotechino e lenticchie.

Felice Anno Nuovo - whatever you eat.

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