Gastronomy is always to the attention of Italians. The television networks inundate our homes with obsessive, fantastic and imaginative programs of gastronomic culture often, according to my preferences, with a deadly boredom. rarely pleasant and funny. There is rather an excellent food and wine journalism of the print media that has its space and is followed by devoted readers. It is a journalism less interested in recipes and more attentive to the history of food, food anthropology and popular traditions. I do not follow, if not occasionally, television programs while, I read the pieces of Davide Paolini, Camilla Baresani, Fiammetta Fadda and others, even if they always advertise a little too much in taverns, taverns, restaurants, more or less luxury , food places, wine bars, wineries.
It is true that, at times, some information for purchases can also be useful. Days ago I was surprised by an article (small but rich article) signed by Donata Marrazzo for the column "Calalù" (I don't know what it means) of the Sunday insert of Il Sole24ore entitled "Cassoeula solidale". The article talks about Maria a cook who embodies many talents of women who with their recipes produce life and social solidarity bringing "with it a schiscetta (incomprehensible word absent in the famous vocabulary Devoto-Oli) full of Cassoeula while the evening wind blows ”(A verb with a thousand suggestions) the Baltic. (SIC).
The Cassoeula solidale
I had heard of this Cassoeula in the past without ever investigating to understand what a reality was. Now I know why Marrazzo proposes the recipe that I find interesting, at least from my point of view, as a hardened doctor. The preparation of this Cassoeula requires three hours of cooking of the poor parts of the pig. One cannot remain indifferent to the need for such prolonged cooking because overcooked foods are not exactly the ideal of healthy cooking.
After browning the onion, celery and carrot in the oil and butter, add the ribs, the rinds, and the feet (the delicacy cannot be underestimated). Then everything is bathed in white wine, salt, tomato sauce, 1st sage, bay leaf and 300 ml of hot water are added. Halfway through cooking, add salamini verzini (cabbage leaves?) To cook with the lid. Finally season with lemon.
I must imagine that after three hours everything will have acquired an overwhelming flavor that can only be enjoyed by healthy people with iron stomachs, absolutely free from psychological influences that can somehow slow down digestion. But when they had to go to the doctor what would they say about their eating habits? Would they talk about the Cassoeula?
Maybe once in my life I would eat it too but of course, given my emotional fragility I could not complain of some digestive disorder. Andrea Vitali is a doctor who works on Lake Como and alternates his profession with writing novels and short stories, winning many awards. For Mondadori he published “Tre minestre” the story of the relationships with his aunts and with the foods and recipes that marked his adolescent education. It remembers the cassoeula and shows the recipe that includes ribs, pork rinds, pigtail, onion feet, butter, sage, white wine, 3 kg of cabbage, meat broth, salamis here too verzini (!?) Salt.
Compared to the previous one, the tomato, the bay leaf and the addition of lemon are missing. But cooking is limited to two hours. Andrea Vitali does not hide a certain determined reluctance to tolerate the sight and bear the smell. "But in order to convince myself to consume it, I should be able to forget the creaking fragility of what we become, with the empty orbits of the skull, the bleak anonymity of the femurs, tibiae and vertebrae with no more name". Maybe he like me will never succeed. You cannot eat while overcoming the fear of death. I prefer the association of two verbs To be & to eat because the German Essen means to eat and is assonant with existing, to live by promoting the comparison with the life that takes place at the table!
It is natural to remember the famous book by Hermann Hesse “To be and to have” the concept of having is not very far from that of eating to introject food as to possess it. Eat to live or live to eat a combination that, not surprisingly, we have kept together from the & commercial