Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Food Tuesday: Fusi

If by now you have already said: "Fusi, off course" your taste buds are already salivating, and most likely, we are originally from the same geographical region. Rob, off course, from Trieste Daily Photo already knows fusi, I am sure of that.

By posting about fusi, I completely expose myself and my origins, for fusi originally are from a small area in the northeast of Italy, then over the Italian border, into Istria, a region in northwestern Croatia. Land of simple people, farmers, small towns and villages, along the seas, fishermen.

Of all the food I have ever eaten, fusi is by far, the one with the most evocative power. Home prepared egg-pasta, dressed usually with "old-chicken, sauteed a looong time" sauce, fusi has the power to bring me back into the past, immediately.

My grandma's hands, white with flower, rolling the dough, while the smell of chicken cooking invades her small house. My grandpa, Bepi, the sweetest, kindest grandpa you have ever met, ready with the tool to roll up the small squares of pasta, and obtain fusi. He was the only one trusted with that step of preparing fusi. You roll to little, and the fusi are too big and get loose in boiling. You roll to "tight" and they do not cook well. It's a form of art, and nonno Bepi was a master. Off course, every time there were arguments between nonno Bepi and nonna Roma, but it was their way of being. Yes, my grandma's name was "Roma Italia Libera". I definitely had a great-grandfather with a sense of humor.

Fusi is easy to make, sauce is easy to make. So what all the fuss ? Simple because, as any good cook can tell you, the master of a chef can be seen in how he/she prepars the simplest of the dishes. Never underestimate the complexity of something simple.

Besides, fusi used to be the food of holidays, important events, guests in the house, and ruining the main dish was a smear of shame.

Fusi was the main dish, the we usually had radicchio, a local bitter salad, with hard boiled eggs sliced in it, onion razor-thing sliced in the salad, vinegar and oil.

A simple meal, comfort food, uncomplicated as the times were back then. Nonno Bepi and nonna Roma would be proud to know that their great-grand-children, in a land as far away as Texas, so far they could not even imagine, one day would make fusi, and eat them, while listening to stories of a place far away, the only link, the food they were eating.

Buon appetito.


rob said...

Ciao! ... fusi co la galina! .... bonisssimi!

Sprittibee said...

Where's mine???? Tell A I am on my way for lunch. ;)