During my Umbrian hilltown guided tours, I’m always pointing out examples of Italian passione; after all, if you don’t get la passione, you don’t get a hold on Italy.
Examples are endless and many of the people we meet embody la passione.
Giuseppa is one and her life revolves around her passions: for her son and two grandchildren, for her flowers, her vegetables, the animals she and farm husband Paolo raise and the farm goodness she cooks using their olive oil, wine, vegetables, herbs, fruits, and meats.
As I said to the guests with me yesterday savoring a Giuseppa feast, “the only foods on this table not raised on this land are the sugar, salt and coffee.”
You can’t find anywhere a pasta dish like the one Giuseppa made for us: homemade fettuccine – made with their eggs, flour from their wheat – topped with tomato sauce of their garden tomatoes, enhanced with veal from the calf they had raised – with barley, corn, hay they had cultivated. Paolo’s sausages and grilled pork from the pig they’d raised (fed with their corn, barley, oats, logicamente!) followed. A salad of their garden tomatoes and cucumbers made the rounds at the table multiple times. “Ah, what dressing!”, Amy exclaimed. What “secret” dressing? Just their olive oil, salt (not theirs!)
Dessert? A tart (their flour, their olive oil, again…) with homemade quince jam. Liqueur? Limoncello? No…liquore di citronella. And, yes, Giuseppa grows the citronella plant in her garden.
At her farm near Deruta, Giuseppa welcomes all with a smile as wide as her open arms. Her smile embraces as do her arms.
While enjoying our “farm banquet,” I asked Giuseppa, “how do you feel having new faces in your home?”
She beamed, “come parenti da lontano…” (“like having relatives from afar”)
As you leave – wrapped inside a Giuseppa hug – you feel you are bidding “arrivederci” to your relatives.
Read about – and see! – the goodness Giuseppa cooks up
Read about another memorable Giuseppa farm visit
Read about the rural tradition of the broom Giuseppa uses
Read more about Giuseppa – and a rural tradition
Read more on Deruta passione – for maiolica, for country cooking
Read about fascinating folk art near Deruta
Read about rural cuisine and rural warmth near Deruta