Today I learned stuff:

1: The weather in paradise isn’t always sunny:

Woke up to a collapsing sky and a very wet outlook, which eased off long enough to get us to the nearby town of Bra in decent time. Aren’t Italians wonderful? We asked one guy where we could park and he escorted us through a series of confusing roundabounts and junctions, not just to a car-park but also to a vacant space. Another driver handed over a part-used ticket. Splendid. Score another for Piedmont.

Anyhow, Bra is the HQ of the (now world-wide) Slow Food movement. That basically means protecting traditional foodstuffs and preparation methods. So practitioners will carfully husband particular kinds of livestock which would probably otherwise vanish, before carefully slaughtering them and cooking them with luv. Think of it as an anti-Mickey D’s. So, of course, we went to the Osteria Boccondivino, where it all started, for a simple lunch. Lucky we got there early as it became rammed very quickly, with potential customers being turned away.

I began with a dish of veal with tuna mousse. Odd, yes, but really tasty, and a local delicacy.

It washed down well with a glass of Arneis, which we’d ordered as well as another of Dolcetto D’alba — the Arneis, in particular, was really cracking — peachy and flowery. Tash chose a plate of cold raw local sausage:

…the flavours robust enough to take on the cherryish red.

We decided to go for pasta courses, with Tash plumping for pasta fagioli (known in Anglo-world as ‘pasta fazool’, probably via The Sopranos) — a very simply soup of pasta and Borlotti beans. I went for a bowl of pasta and local veg — peppers, courgettes, tomatoes. Wonderful.

What else did I learn? Oh yes:

2: Natasha will strike any pose on the off-chance of a cup of staggeringly good coffee. Viz.:

This is in an historic coffee shop/patisserie near the centre of town called Cafe Converso. We’ve resolved to return later in the week to raid it for holiday booty.

And the third thing?

3: The heir to the Throne has just passed the point of harmless lunacy to become a fully-fledged danger to the public. This is what I do when it rains — I catch up with Sax-Coberg-Gotha lunacy, specifically this speech which the homeopath-suckling one made in Oxford. He blames Galileo for the death of ‘the soul’.

So, to sum up:

When it rains, eat slow food. Tash enjoys good coffee. Our next head of State is an enemy of reason. Not a bad day’s work.

Tonight we’ve an invite to a very good restaurant at the top of the town. Will report when replete.

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