On Friday afternoon, I went for a walk around my neighborhood with my camera. I usually walk with my husband, but that day he wasn't with me, so my camera was my companion. Among the vegetation along the side of our strada di campagna (country road), it was the tendrils of the Manroot that mostly inspired me. I am a poor botanist, so I am not sure whether I was looking at California manroot or Coastal manroot (if you have any suggestions on this matter, please, send let me know). The light green tendrils gave me the idea of writing about two kitchen items: cavatappi e apribottiglie.
I like to say cavatappi (corkscrew). The word tappo in Italian (plural: tappi) is generic and may indicate a cork (tappo di sughero), a crown cap (tappo a corona) and other types of caps, plugs and stoppers, depending on the context. My father likes to use the word tirabusciò to indicate a corkscrew. It is the Italianized version of the French tire-bouchon.
Apribottiglie literally means bottle opener (bottiglie is the plural of bottiglia, bottle). The one in the photo is a gift from a dear friend. Sometimes I take it out just to look at it and smile at its cute shape. In case you are wondering, it was made in Italy.
The apribottiglie makes me think of the following three beverages: Coca-Cola, gazzosa and birra (beer). When I was growing up, drinking carbonated beverages was reserved for very special occasions. As a consequence, I have never developed a taste for fizzy beverages.
Coca-Cola to me is the dark, sweet drink in its characteristic slender bottle, which occasionally I was allowed to have, usually at kids' parties. Gazzosa and birra were bought by my father for our (infrequent) picnics. I have never liked birra and always preferred wine (with water, of course, as I was still a child). Gazzosa (or gassosa) on the other hand, was a favorite of mine. It is clear, sweet, but not too sweet, fizzy, but again not overly so, with a delicate lemon flavor. My parents mixed birra e gazzosa, while I enjoyed my gazzosa unadulterated, at a nice, cool temperature, no ice. Some of you may be thinking: what's about Italians and ghiaccio (ice)? That's a story for another day.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the cavatappi e apribottiglie audio file [mp3].