My grandpa is an Italian Farmer – like his father before him. He is a major influence in my life, producing certain behaviors, including but limited to: an irrational fear of the number four, an unending quest to grow perfect tomatoes, the need to plant fruit trees every place I live, telling travel stories based on where & what I’ve eaten, and the idea that food can be studied & discovered. Don’t know who I’d be without him, don’t care to find out.
It so happens that my grandfather purchases his cable TV from a company that offers channels from other countries – 2 from Italy. These channels were immediately purchased upon availability in our area, and Italian programming is now the basis (much to my gramma’s chagrin) of all schedule planning in their household. I probably like the variety/singing show best, where Italian pop stars from the last 40 years appear on twin stages, but that show does not, in grampa’s mind, hold a candle to the TOURING AGRICULTURE show.
His Italian is a bit broken, since he doesn’t use it much (we all know the food & the swears, of course) so he has to pay close attention understand exactly what is going on. I sat with him recently during a show while the hosts were walking through a winery – easy to understand, since I may not speak Italian but we all speak winery pretty well. The next facility they visited was a farm of some kind, and it looked to me like they were growing Romanesco, which is a broccoli-cauliflower hybrid. After much discussion about the possibility of it being a broccoli farm, and a conversation about whether Romesco was the right name for it rather than Romanecso (I will admit confusion in that moment) – the show visited a blood-orange farm, which we all again understood. And then we opened some wine.
As I left their house, I mentally ran this recap:
Romanesco: broccoli-cauliflower hybrid
Romesco: a sauce, Spain’s equivalent to pesto
My Grampa: Simply the Greatest Guy on Earth