Good dinner poor: the grandmother omelette, salad, nuts and wine
It 's time for dinner, and we are in a dilapidated old house and scraped the Rome disappeared, perhaps in a dark alley and wet, like some colorful watercolors Roesler Franz looked on the card because the lost places of old Rome, in dilapidated and unhealthy, had to be completely lost in the memory. It was good, because photographs, paintings and drawings at the time of the papal city are rare.
So, it's dinner time, the hours are 7 or 8, depending on whether winter or summer ("1 hour in the evening" to the backlog calculation Roman) exile and in the light of a candle flame of beef tallow oil lamp od'un (*), an old woman stops spinning and fanned a fire, too poor to heat coal indeed.
E 'grandmother, mother-pathetic figure around which the whole scene, painted in strong and rapid strokes on effective drafter Belli. And if
is called "Grandma" means that the narrator is the grandson, then a young age. Young people were numerous in Rome of the Popes, kings, as still happens in poor countries, where ignorance, the high rate of infant deaths and economic needs push couples to believe that their only wealth is the offspring. The
old son waiting for the arrival of some ephemeral or unlikely to work, and equip a dinner on the table that, although healthy, is poorly defined as poor. Also poor in calories, according to what the Bell, which does not mention even the bread, of course taking it for granted, as the city's poor ate bread, albeit poor, also to reduce the cost of cooking. As well as those of the country, for which the wood was almost always free, polenta wheat, maize and millet. It has been, imagine a dark bread of the second or third choice, perhaps, mixed grain, certainly too rich bran, which fills but does not nourish. I mean the cheapest.
Grandma, therefore, prepare a omelet, almost transparent as it is fine. Which means that in a large frying pan beat a few egg fails to give adequate protein nutrition, and thickness of the four poor people. Luckily there is some walnut, and certainly - but in the sonnet is not talked about - some large gray slice of bread, to feed with its truly carbohydrates. But if so, the dinner would not be so poor, indeed it would be sufficient. And if the lettuce leaves were not so few, and if there was at least one fruit, it would even be perfect ... Even in Rome under the Popes, the people are vegetarian without knowing it, a strange forced vegetarianism. While they are not only noble but also popes, cardinals, monsignors, priests and monks to overeat meat.
But back on the pancake so thin as to be almost transparent, says Bell, who perhaps is not meant for cooking, and so quickly to the lay reader wants to give a measure of material poverty. But it is not credible, psychologically.
Especially in tight, a cook knows all the tricks of anything to fill a cake or a pancake, tricking the eye and the throat of her husband and children, making her look thick, rich, overflowing, perhaps because only wild grasses, the absolutely free. Think of the jets of clematis bitter, slightly poisonous, the populace in Rome was used precisely in omelets disguised as "asparagus" (omelette "vitalbini" or "Ticchi", as they said so many "marchiciani" immigrants in the city). Dozens and dozens of herbs commonplace, everyday in the Roman cuisine, also mixed ("mixed salad" raw or cooked, depending on the hardness). And besides, an onion or a few leaves of cabbage, if desired, would have achieved or nearly free from the "verduraro.
Fortunately, some walnut, a few leaves of lettuce, imagine little or no sauce, some good bread gray, and a small glass of wine (to sip in four), complete dinner.
dinner that could be called "monastic" or "monastery", as the monks of the Holy Roman Church, by contrast, enjoyed traditionally lavish lunches, except that in the few days before, were usually full of meat, particularly poultry, game and fish (see Massimo Montanari, Food and culture in the Middle Ages , Laterza 1988).
Although this house is not a married young and active, but an old (but still has young grandchildren around), this frugality, this risicatezza extreme, unless the author does not intend to describe a pathological sloppiness depression (poverty also leads all'abulia), has all the functions of literature, is that in order to better represent an environment, a mood, in short, inexorable summary of the model:
THE bbona FAMIJJA
Mi 'grandmother to one hour of the night vviè Ttata
If lever by row, ppovera old stokes a
Carboncella, sciapparecchia, and
mmaggnamo du' Fronne of inzalata.
Quarche vvorta Famo if an omelette, put the ssi
that ar sce light as if reflected
Fussi to ttraverzo of ear:
four recognition, and the scene is tterminata. Then while I
partners, Tata and Ccrementina
follow me from now on a par sgoccetto,
arissetta she clears the table and the pillow. And just
ar er seen fonno letterbox,
'pissciatina na,' na sarvereggina,
and feeds in Zakynthos, SCE n'annamo to bed.
November 28, 1831
version. The good family. My grandmother for an hour in the evening (around 20 hours in summer or 19 in winter, according to the antical'antica division of the hours of the day in Rome 800), when Dad stops spinning, poor old , lighting a charcoal ember, we set food and eat two lettuce leaves. Sometimes we have an omelette, that if you put it near a light is as clear as an ear, four nuts, and dinner is finished. Then while I, father and Clementina continue for a couple of hours to make us a drink of wine, she clears the table and arranges the kitchen. And as soon as we get to the bottom of the jar [sgoccetta '= booze to continue for some time, notes Belli, ie sip), a pisciatina, a Salve Regina, and in peace, there andiamno to bed.
fried bbona Famija
Ingredients: Four eggs, 1 or 2 onions (or jets of clematis, or other vegetable or vegetable) cut end, chopped mint, oil, salt and pepper to taste Instructions
. Let simmer a little onion or vegetables, pour in a capacious bowl or salad bowl, add the mint, then the eggs well beaten, and mix. In a large skillet, heat a little oil and pour it. Good cook, over low heat on both sides. Be certainly less transparent and more tasty in that sonnet. The cooks "philologists" Doc Belli, of course, following the sonnet will pignolescamente less than onions and vegetables. Too bad for them.
"Despite the critical issue considers the age of the speaker [ the narrator, Ed], I always thought he was talking about a guy (because poetry is dominated by the figure of the grandmother)," he wrote the critic Valerio Magrelli Corriere della Sera on , about this sonnet. "That's why, despite countless transformations that everyday life has undergone in nearly two centuries, I think the biggest difference compared to the Rome of today does not involve video games and posters of sports heroes, but the condition of the adolescent. What distinguishes the current situation of young people is, in fact, if possible, a heightened sense of alienation, loneliness and alienation. " In short - Magrelli concluded - that diversity in the state today, both of the family, both the existence of youth! "
course, young people in the world of beauty are the majority, even though most intuits, glimpsed in the background. The average age at the time of the Romans Belli was much lower than that of modern times, as was typical of a backward society and poor. The comparison with today's young people is stark. "They eat, play with play-station and go to bed under the poster of Valentino Rossi and Francesco Totti," he wrote in the Corriere Eraldo Affinati, a writer who covered the youth, speaking of the typical evening of the younger guys, in Rome as in other cities. "Reading this sentence - the answers Magrelli - I came back to Belli's sonnet" The bbona famijja " with the famous final stanza: "And just saw er fonno letterbox ar / 'pisciatina na,' na sarvereggina, / and, in Zakynthos feeds, SCE n'annàmo to bed." That family was preparing to sleep out in 1831 finishing a glass of wine, going to the toilet, recite the evening prayers ( Corriere della Sera, June 30, 2003).
The vast majority of the population of Rome at the time King of the Popes lived in extreme poverty. As in all underdeveloped countries, lack of economic freedom, political and cultural, religious bigotry and fanaticism, the social privilege, widespread corruption and the eye complaint, not only prevented the advancement of ideas, but also the flourishing of crafts, arts, professions, trade, industry, in short, not only spread the wealth, but life itself. Even so the Church will one day be called before the tribunal of History.
Rome, in short, was a small dead city, where even some aristocrats sought public pensions, not unlike the rich today seeking a scholarship for the children (see s. The bbonificienza previous article). The gap in economic status, legal and social differences between clergy and nobles, on the one hand, and common people, on the other, was enormous, a figure considered offensive to the conscience of today, and even contradictory for the ostentatious and hypocritical "Catholic morality", which only the cynical promise of "reward in the Other World" could make tolerable in the eyes of the people and the clergy. Clergy who could not find this intolerable difference between theory and practice.
Thus, while the nobles, popes, cardinals, bishops, priests and monsignors lived in luxury, idleness and exercising a sadistic taste of power (which also compensates for the last few degrees, the poorest of the hierarchy of control: the simple priests) , families of Rome is stumbling along in everyday life, looking for material to survive hunger, disease, all'abulia. A material poverty and psychological Belli describes participation, having proven himself for most of his life.
Meanwhile, as the veccharella prepares its thin omelet, the rich and the priests carouse. And, indeed, it is rumored that Cardinal Vicar not only eat and drink per cent, but even being appropriated for public collections, which he called at a trick "scientific" (as appears to the populace), probably a "diabolical" barometer ( Er Cardinal caluggnato, June 10, 1834):
Nun j'abbasta al'arètico
de murmured discontent cch'er Cardin Vicar
maggna eight Vorta PPIU dder nescessario, and
CCIRC ar eg drunk then bbeve CCENT.
fact, comes from al'accesso bet that
Below cquello instrument on 'Your Eminence
sce ingergo the rule in the collective. What a bugger
ssi er his disciples: it pours, er
Cardinal beam Dispenza
a team of appetènna-impruvia.
version. It's not enough disgruntled heretic [the Devil ?] To mutter that the Cardinal Vicar [ Placido Zurla, cited by Belli in 10 sonnets ] eats eight times more than necessary, and as for drink, and , drinks per hundred persons. (...) Indeed, goes so far as to bet that with his instrument [ the populace was rumored that he had a secret unit that included the rain ] His Eminence cheating maneuvers of the collections. So if the unit says it pours, the Cardinal now has a collection to public petendam pluviam, [that is, to implore God for the rain].
(*) The tallow candles emit a smell, something that was not the case with the olive oil lamps, even the worst and rancid (not coincidentally the inedible oil is still called "lamp oil" or lamps). It was very cheap, because a liter was enough to illuminate a lamp for 200 hours, but gave light very faint, ill-suited to reading, unlike oil. This fuel is widely used in the homes of Roma in the second half of the 800.
IMAGES. 1. Here's how it should present a typical home of a poor house of the early nineteenth century, with small chairs, a flask, the bottle, the kettle over the fire (it was suspended by a chain) and the table. 2. One lane of Rome disappeared Roesler Franz: Via Giulio Romano. 3. The omelette cooked on charcoal fire irregularly.