Pre-Earthquake Lunch in Verona, Italy

Michael Housewright - The Blissful Adventurer

Our final meal before the quake

In mid May Juliet and I visited our dear friends Nicolas and Giulia in Verona, Italy. These guys are master salad makers. Nick and I had gone down to the fruttivendolo (the fruit and vegetable shop) picked up killer lettuce, tomatoes, cukes, and a container of fresh mozzarella di bufala while the ladies relaxed in the modern apartment just a 15 minute walk from central Verona.

Of course, when we come to Verona we want Bresaola; the air dried beef roast that is one part texture of prosciutto and the other part flavor of jerked beef. When we arrived at the deli or salumeria where all the greatness was laid before us, we got our bresaola and then could not help but grab a handful of shaved mortadella with the requisite pistachios interspersed with the meat.

This is not your grandma’s bologna they sell over on the boot. Mortadella here is just succulent (I hate that word, but it really is) and soft with a very lacy texture which holds the bits of nut in place and unfolds layer after layer of piggy part fatty yumminess.

The Blissful Adventurer - MIchael Housewright

Bresaola and Mortadella in Verona – My KInda Yin and Yang

When Nick and I got back, the table was being set as we showed off our goods. We told the girls how I almost stole some saffron at the deli because I had it in my hand and simply walked away. We went back in to pay and the woman behaved as if we were old friends making an honest and completely innocuous mistake. This is one of the reasons I love Italy. I can pretty much operate much like I did as a kid in a small town in Texas with “I’ll pay you laters”, “can I sit here for a minutes”, and “oh yeah I owe you this from last weeks.” There is a trust and belief that people will do the right thing in the day to day. Utopia, Italy is not and I am sure some of my readers will tell me about how the pizzeria in Florence ripped them off. I don’t doubt it, I am simply saying in local culture, among residents, there is a code. I like this code and I believe in it.

The Blissful Adventurer - Michael Housewright

Nothing like tossing the salad

After the walk, the stories, and the time to wash all the veggies, we were starving and this may be one of the reasons this was the best salad from our entire trip. It could also have been the lovely bottle of Pecorino (yes this is in fact a wine from Le Marche) from the brilliant bio-dynamic producer Aurora we enjoyed along with our lovely salad and salty meats.

Or it could have been this….

The Blissful Adventurer - MIchael Housewright

The tremor before the quake

In the end, I am confident it was the quality of all the ingredients, the talents of our wonderful hosts, and a blessed day of conversation fueled by conviviality, mutual respect, and the overriding sense of curiosity and exploration that surrounded this gathering of Blissful Adventurers that made this lunch extraordinary. Somehow we took our grappa-soaked selves to a winery for a tasting later that day, then in the middle of the night, our very existences came into peril.

….to be continued



    • mhousewright says

      yeah, next week for sure :-) I am off to the TBEX travel blogging conference today until Sunday. I am also now it looks like writing for 2 Italian travel publications (hey, published soon :-) )

  1. says

    I've an Italian deli around the corner from me. The owner buys all his products from small handpicked producers that he visit every year. His mortadella tastes like heaven, :). Looking forward to reading the rest of the story, poor people. It would also be interesting to read your articles in the Italian publications. Will they be published on your website? Otherwise I am sure I can find them here in Stockholm. Have fun at the conference!

    • mhousewright says

      Marianne, there will be links to all my future writing projects right here on the TBA site :-) Thank you as always for your interest and support. How are things in Stockholm?

  2. says

    Just wanted to say 'hi' and hope the new blog site is going well – I did love the salad and would like to have stayed to chat, but I've got to go, you know how it is – can't always tarry, like one does in Italy:)

    PS It's a bit cumbersome – all this signing in – when you just wanna say 'hi'.

    Ciao bello

    • says

      Hey, WLGene, if you sign in once, and you're always signed in to WP after that, you won't have to do the signing in thing again. Your information will appear grayed-out in the boxes after that. I may have had to do it once because I wasn't properly signed in. See you. George :-)

      • mhousewright says

        WLG and George! There is now a LIKE button and I heard a rumor that all original subscriptions may convert as well in the coming days; although I still prefer Feedburner so that I can keep you on my list my old team may all be back together soon!

  3. says

    Read this much earlier today, and for whatever reason, my beloved iPhone makes me sign in, while I don't have to on my PC. At any rate, when I heard about the earthquakes in Italy, I wondered how you two were.

    This salad looks delicious.

  4. says

    u know, we have a small village Verona in the East of Georgia, Sagarejo Region ( wiki info only in Russian and Georgian) , but I don't really know the connections between these two Veronas :)))

    p.s. I dream of traveling in Italy one day :) very nice post warm and full of positive feelings :)

    • mhousewright says

      This is so kind and thoughtful of you. I am always a little embarrassed to get these awards from such hard working bloggers and I truly hope once I get all the bugs worked out of the new website I can fulfill the obligations of this award. Thank you and thank you again for following my work.

    • mhousewright says

      It was a great and informative experience George. After meeting and chatting with some of the most successful bloggers in the country I was reassured 10 fold that my decision to self-host was the right one for me :-)

    • mhousewright says

      Mike, I was at The TBEX Travel Bloggers conference all weekend in Keystone and have just been fried from the last 7 weeks of intense travel and changes. I will be back in the saddle with more positive changes to the site and lots of tips I picked up at the convention. I am honestly more encouraged than ever and look forward to being back at it.

      Your concern and interest is wonderful my friend and thank you for reaching out to me. TBA will return tba :-)

  5. says

    Sunny on the inside, sunny outside as well, :). Off to a seminar at the Spanish Embassy which of course is followed by wine and tapas… Take care!

  6. mhousewright says

    thanks man..just trying to claw through over a month of posts, follow-ups, and new friends. You know I won't be too long from here though :-)

  7. says

    Dude. I was ready to go to sleep over here … it's way late, but all these awesome photos of food have made me hungry. I might go attack the fridge. :)

  8. says

    It all looks so gorgeous. I'm very much not a foodie, don't have the patience or cooking skills, but you make the artistry seep through in your photographs.

    How do restaurants react when you start snapping macros of their food? Flattered, bewildered?

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