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November 13, 2007


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Sembra utile e di facile e pratico utilizzo.


I want one!!

Susan from Food Blogga

I think you make a very convincing argument for why that grater should take up room in the luggage. I want one now too! :)


Let me change the subject for a moment to another of your purchases: the Camilleri. I wondered after reading "The Smell of the Night" what the original versions of the English cliches in one very funny passage in which Montalbano works himself into a frenzy over Livia's cliches.

I once thought I might look for the original-language version. I wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in the inferno of understanding "L'odore della notte," especially since Camilleri writes in Sicilian dialect, but I'd still want to see the original versions of the sayings that in English became "count your chickens before they hatch," "eat like a horse" and "sow your wild oats" in the scene I wrote about yesterday.

The Sicilian or Italian versions could hardly be literal equivalents. I’m guessing that the translator, Stephen Sartarelli, understood the effect of exasperation that Camilleri was striving for, then looked for English expressions whose triteness would affect an English speaker the way Livia's cliches affect Montalbano.

On the other hand, I once hopped into a cab in Rome on a rainy day, and the cab driver, who knew a tourist when he saw one, looked at me intently in the rear-view mirror, raised his eyebrows, and said, with great deliberation and careful enunciation, “Sto piuvendo – cani – e gatti,” literally “It’s raining – dogs – and cats.”

P.S. I have never been to Perugia, but I was in Assissi, and I had the most delicious white wine I had in all of Italy, just a simple, crisp vino bianco della casa with dinner. I don't even know what it was, but the memory of it refreshes me ten years later!

Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"


You're right. There's nothing compared to freshly grated Italian cheese! I bought the electric grater (much more comfortable!) and it's really amusing to see my Spanish mother using it on pasta!


Buying breadcrumbs - funny that we are now (well, some people are) so removed from the way in which these things are made that something as simple as, say, making your own from leftover bread, no longer makes sense. Hate wastage myself.

I would have made space for that little number myself Simona!

Simona Carini

Ciao Lenny: davvero pratica e facile da gestire.

Dear Julia and Susan: I thought that might happen. Maybe I should import a bunch of them.

Hi Peter. In Italian we would say 'piove a catinelle' (it's raining buckets). I will look at that episode and at the expressions: the one corresponding to "sow your wild oats" is actually pretty funny. Montalbano speaks Italian colored with Sicilian words and expressions: this is a combination that cannot really be translated into English. I myself speak differently when I am Italian colored with words and expressions typical of Perugia when I am there and I speak correct Italian when I am in Milan. We have some very good white wine in Umbria. The most famous of them is the Orvieto, which gets its name from the that town. I was there last month and I should post some photos: it is really pretty.

Ciao Carolina. I am not sure they sell electric graters here in the US. My mother has one too!

Hi Lucy. Part of it has to do with the idea that you never throw away bread.


I have a few Microplane graters which I love, but they don't work for fresh breadcrumbs. Do I have the space for yet another gadget? No. But you didn't really have the space in your luggage, either, Simona. I shall make the room. Thanks for the recommendation.


Hi Simona,
I love the fact that you have a handle to turn on your new grater. I have memories of a nut chopper that worked just like that with a little feed compartment. It was always my job to chop the nuts and I loved it. I make my bread crumbs in a mortar and pestle, believe it or not. I don't own a food processer! I'm sure everyone will want one of your gadgets now. Another career in the distance? Impoter? :)


Oh, that little contraption looks so nice! I too am very picky about my grated cheese and in fact I've not found a grater that turns out a product I'm completely happy with.

Lori Lynn @ Taste With The Eyes

What a cute, nifty gadget!
Hearing you pronounce the names of the cheeses was great, too. I probably say those words several times a week, so it's nice to hear them pronounced authentically. Thanks :)


You brought back a lot of terrific things. ;-)



What a terrific looking grater? We never saw anthing quite like this~lucky you! We were able to stock up on cheeses before we left Lucca-had to leave behind a pair of shoes and two sweaters in order to fit everything into the suitcaeses!I will catch up on your past posts soon~so busy wi the new store!

Simona Carini

Hi Susan. Space is an issue, both in the luggage and in the kitchen. Sometimes I get so nervous about not having free space.

Hi Maryann, you just reminded me of a coffee grinder my aunt had in her kitchen: I'll write about it soon, though I won't have a photo of it. Maybe I can contact someone already in the business and convince her/him to import it.

Hi Lisa. I wish we were closer so I could let you try my grattugia and see if you like it.

You are welcome, Lori Lynn.

Hi Paz: I have more things to talk about in the near future.

Hi Jann, I can understand luggage crisis. I had left a little space in my suitcase before I left the US and also I freed up some space because I delivered a few gifts. However, I also had to leave some things behind. Good luck with the new store!


It sounds like a wonderful little grater. I do agree completely about not buying breadcrumbs, but then I got hooked on whole wheat Panko crumbs, which somehow seem to be crisper than the ones I make myself! I do keep them in the freezer, so one bottle will last me for a long time. I think I am lucky to have a big kitchen where I can have all the gadgets I want, but I'm trying not to buy things.

Most of all I wanted to tell you I just had some utterly delicious roasted chestnuts. What an amazing flavor, sweet and nutty both. I only cooked about 1/3 of them, so I can savor them a few more times. Thanks again for being so generous. I tried to take photos but it was very dark, so I may have to cook some during the day if I'm going to blog about them.

Simona Carini

Hi Kalyn, I am so glad you liked the chestnuts: they do have an amazing flavor and are quite versatile as ingredient. I am looking forward to your post on them.

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