"Buon giorno!" Remember: Better the son-of-a-bitch you know than the son-of-a-whore you don't. "Only In Italy!"
Well, it's just to say that I really enjoy your musings - 9/10 they make me laugh out loud! :) Thank you! Tilly
Grazie Tilly! We're going to push for the 10 out of 10. Before we begin to write again we'll put handles on our walls so, that they'll be easier to climb.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Two years ago, Italy created a panel of experts to check if the wine, one of Italy's best known, meets production standards.
There had been fears some of the wine might have been cut with other grape varieties instead of only sangiovese grapes. USA authorities required special documentation indicating that Brunello coming into the country had been inspected to ensure quality.
Minister Giancarlo Galan said Thursday that starting May 1 that special approval will no longer be required since Brunello has "won back" Americans' trust. About one-quarter of the Brunello produced each year goes to the U.S.
How did all this Italian brewhaha begin?
Look, Italian wine law governing the Brunello brand stipulates that Sangiovese wine must be 100 percent Sangiovese and come completely from the majestical "Sound of Music" hills surrounding the ancient, walled, hilltop city of Montalcino. So the idea that Brunello might be blending grapes like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah to soften, darken, and round out its Sangiovese is considered by many Italians to be scandalous and sacrilegious.
Well, in Tuscany there's a bunch of local vineyard yahoos who formed the growers' consortium (Consorzio di Brunello di Montalcino) and monitors the entire Brunello production. Supposedly, the consortium performed a three-year-long investigation of their vineyards, from 2004 to 2007, and uncovered a staggering 42 acres that did not conform to their DOCG (authenticity and guarantees) rules...BUT that's just around 1 percent out of the 4,118 total acres of Brunello vineyards.
Those nearby 42 acres hilariously threw the entire production into a tailspin and forced Italy's fiscal police (Guardia di Finanza) to launch an exhaustive examination of all documents relating to the Brunello production at the estates involved, sequestering the wines if they discovered any apparent irregularities.
However; it is not as if opium poppy plants were being grown by Afghanis on those 42 acres.
Let's take a look at Italian restaurants in the USA.
The truth is there are few genuine Italian restaurants. About 70 percent of the Italian restaurants are not Italian at all. "Cazzarola", we don't know what the hell is going on in those kitchens but Italian is not a pizza with a red-purple sauce with large dispensers of garlic gunpowder nearby or an overweight jackass in a sweaty tank top eating spaghetti with meat-ball sauce.
All this seems quite ridiculous and unnecessary. After all, there are people starving in Southern Italy.
We are seriously thinking of putting a stop to all this idiocy by flying up to Montalcino, Tuscany, and walking around these sacred 4000 acres while munching on Sicilian grapes and spitting the seeds onto the ground.
Naples - April 30, 2010 - Eleven Naples police officers were arrested Friday after they allegedly stole about a ton of food (ex. prosciutto) from a truck that had been hijacked, judicial sources said.
The head of the southern Italian city's flying squad, Deputy Police Chief Pasquale Toscano, has been placed under investigation along with other members of the elite unit.
Toscano will "soon" be replaced and the 70-strong squad reorganized, Naples Chief Prosecutor Giovandomenico Lepore told reporters.
"The rotten apples have been found and eliminated," he said.
"Certain things cannot be allowed, at any level".
The 11 flying squad members are suspected of filing a false report after catching up with the truck and arresting the five hijackers, sources said.
"We soon realized there was something fishy about the report and we decided to investigate," said Assistant Prosecutor Giovanni Melillo.
Two members of the flying squad helped prosecutors recover part of the stolen food, he said.
Some of our readers are probably thinking, "Whatever happened to police officers cherishing their status as keepers of the peace and protectors of the public?"
Polizia: Si si, buon giorno! Good news! ('chew-chew') We found your truck and apprehended the criminals ('chew').
Naples victim: Ah! Mamma mia, fantastico! Grazie! Was there any damage to the truck or the food?
Polizia: Uh, the truck did not suffer any damages ('chew-chew'). But about a ton of your food has disappeared ('psst, hey, faccia di culo...pass the wine').
Naples victim: Ma, porca vacca, cazzo, fanculo! But the truck was hijacked 30 minutes ago! How could a ton of my food disappear so fast? What's going on, cazzo?
Polizia: Hey hey! ('chew') Calma! This is Naples! ('chew') You should thank the Madonna we solved the crime and found your stuff! ('chew-chew-chew and CHEW')
Naples victim: Hmmm, I understand. Well, I am so happy to see you're earning my tax money. May I ask a favor? Would you mind swallowing for a minute? I can hear little chunks of prosciutto flying out of your mouth into the little holes of the receiver, and landing in my ear.
Here's your fun fact of the day: Palermo and Naples love to take turns being the vehicle-jacking capitals of Italy. On a yearly average, Naples has the equivalent of 5000 car thefts for every 100,000 residents.
When you read a statistic like this you begin to realize that the Napolitani are stealing cars...from people driving stolen cars.
The supreme Court of Cassation ruled that Antonio P. from a small town near Salerno had "clearly expressed his desire to return to jail" by standing on his doorstep and begging police to put him back inside because of an "intolerable" domestic situation.
A lower court should not have found him guilty of breaking house arrest by stepping outside, the Cassation judges said.
The "famiglia" provides the network of the deepest and most important relationships of Italian society. Of course, the Italian family has many entertaining stereotypes. When you think of the typical Italian family, you of course think of a big, loud, lunatic family with the mother and grandmother cooking and eight kids running around causing havoc.
In a typical Italian family, the Nonna (grandmother) is often the source of strength and wisdom for the entire family. We don't exactly know when this irritating tradition began but it appears this self proclaimed wise and strong figure is present in many families.
La lovely Nonna can also be the teller of tall (bull crap) tales, the one who passes down family history filled with bouts of anger, infidelity, and revenge, and the one who keeps precise track of the relatives who aren't really your relatives and the relatives you cannot ever speak to.
She is also the quick shooter of incoherent proverbs for any situation:
Hey Antonio! Do you know why you belong in jail?
Antonio, my dear stupid Antonio. If you had listened to me instead of your thieving cousin, you wouldn't be in this mess.