I remember as a child the rush of excitement I felt every time I heard the jingle of the ice-cream van turning into the street. It didn’t matter that my parents made five different flavors of fresh Italian ice-cream daily for the restaurant. I didn’t care about production methods, natural ingredients or flavor back then. I wanted the sickly sweet, industrially produced stuff that whizzed from the machine that all my school friends were having!
, hardly surprising, there is no ice cream van. Instead, I have to settle for Roberto and his cheese and salami van. I say ‘settle’, but truth be told every Monday morning, it’s like being a kid again. From 9 a.m., I’m peeking excitedly between the cracks in the shutters for the first sighting (or whiff of cheese)! He always arrives some time between 9 and 9.15 without fail. And, without fail, I always seem to be at the back of the queue. I’m not sure how my neighbors do it. There are five women dressed in flowery polyester dresses in front of me this morning. It occurs to me that one of them recently celebrated her eightieth birthday – I was invited to the party! How they managed to get to the van before me is anyone’s guess. Italy
P.S. It’s pumpkin season and tomorrow I’m going to meet Gabriella, a veteran pasta maker, who’s going to show me how to make pumpkin stuffed ravioli.