Foodie Exchange – The Italian Job

April 25, 2010 · 19 comments

I have a secret admirer. An Italian secret admirer. An Italian secret admirer who sends me kisses.

So, perhaps this person is more of a friend than an admirer, more female than I prefer my admirers to be, and not so much secret as openly talking about sending me things, but she is definitely Italian. And she definitely sent me kisses.

Elga from Semi di Papavero is a talented photographer, and her food posting skills are apparently as good as her blog posting skills if my latest Foodie Exchange is anything to go by. It’s still as cool to receive a box of treats from far away as it was when I got goodies from Montreal and Arizona, New York and Toronto, and I was barely inside my front door before the parcel was greedily torn open.

In addition to the kisses (Baci), she also sent a selection of Torroncini (coated almond nougat), Feletti Notte e Di chocolates, two packets of Lo Zafferano – saffron which Elga suggests I use to make “a risotto flavoured and coloured”. Elga, I loved reading your friendly note (written on the back of a Blueberry Pastry recipe card) almost as much as I loved what you sent me, as your Italian English is just like that of my friends from Torino whom I haven’t seen for too long. Reading your note made me hear their voices in my head, talking of making pasta with “spinaches” and asking if I would like a “biskwit” with my cup of tea.

Sadly I won’t be able to enjoy the “spices ideal for spaghetti” that your note teased me with, as Australian Customs thinks I should eat my spaghetti plain.

I learnt Italian in primary school for many years, but it is largely forgotten – my strongest memory of that time is the day that one of the boys in my class turned 10, and his Mum made a birthday cake in the shape of a cricket bat and ball. The cake sat up the front of the class all day, torturing us until it would be time to eat it for afternoon tea following our Italian lesson. Sadly the cake met an untimely demise from the bum of our Italian teacher as he sat on the front bench, and given how concerned everyone was at that age with boy germs and girl germs, the thought of bum germs meant the cake was mostly written off.

So, while I would love to give you a proper Italian response to your parcel Elga, I will just wish you a bum-free cake future and say grazie mille!