Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Cheese of Forgiveness


don oreste benzi

Asked how I feel today, I’ll say, “Fresh as a fish.”

It’s a figure of speech I heard on the TV yesterday. The program examined the quality and safety of fish from the Adriatic. We were at an inland restaurant eating brassato, a braised beef dish our friend Lidia makes. At noon, for the workers who come for lunch, Lidia turns on TV news. The focus was on fish. This was long-form journalism. Three journalists in a studio were importantly holding forth, along with reporters and scientists in the field hoisting octopi aloft by their tentacles, displaying crates of sole, mussels, and clams; a full half-hour expose on fish. Given my limited fish vocabulary, I couldn’t follow much of what they were saying. I recognized a few fish names; every so often I heard inquinamenti, the Italian word for pollutants. Continue reading

And Then Not Do Nothing


I Googled “shooter” and found the Cambridge Dictionary describes the term as “mainly US.”

It wasn’t the sort of thing you wanted to see. The cabin doors closed. The aircraft pushed back, engines started. I figured it would take 70 minutes or so to fly from Virginia Beach to Detroit. Then, ten or twenty feet out, we rolled to a stop, the nose of the plane still pointed at the gate. The engines powered down. We sat for five minutes or so, in silence, until finally the pilot came on the intercom, apologized, and reported that a small repair would be necessary. It was a little thing, he said, but he was required to have maintenance take a look. Continue reading

Tourist food in Anacapri and Capri–four short reviews


It’s going to be much better than all right

1. Le Grotelle (Capri)

It is now, and probably always will be, a mystery to me that close to a major tourist attraction in Italy one can eat so well. Granted, that is not always the case.  (A hellhole in Cinque Terre comes to mind.) But here at Le Grottelle, the last restaurant on the road to the Arco Naturalle in Capri, we ate as well we have ever eaten in Italy.   Continue reading