I was talking about Italian food and wine, trying to explain how Italian-American cooking is a genuine, separate aspect, and making a comparison between, for example, New York’s Little Italy Sicilian—red sauce, etc.—and San Francisco’s North Beach, based more on pesto sauce and with maybe a little more refinement (that was the subject of my first e-book this year, “The Flavor of North Beach Revisited”). Since Liguria is a neighbor, right down the road south from where we were and reeking of basil, the audience seemed receptive to the shout-out.
I was mainly there to promote my newest e-book, “The Wine Lover Cooks Italian,” and I solved the problem of its having no hard, physical existence by waving around a copy of the original book and exclaiming “revisita!” Don’t know if they got it, but when I finished, I was given a wheel of local cheese, known as Toma, which is very good. I’ve certainly had worse wages. (It was a gift from the local cheese-makers’ association—someone there had read the book, and they were very pleased that I’d included three Piedmont versions in the cheese chapter.)
Wine? Wonderful everywhere we went (and we got around), and some of the best was made by female winemakers. I especially liked the Dolcetto from Pira & Figli, which