Thursday, May 6, 2010
The Package from Italy
I have to admit, I'm quite excited.
I have been remiss with my blog because I was learning to be a Game Operator, but when I was chatting with my supervisor we decided that although our work was important, there was nothing more important in life than food.
The wonderful thing about the Internet is that you can talk to people who don't even live remotely close to you. Samuele currently lives in Pisa, but he hails from San Remo, that lovely little city on the Mediterranean coast of western Liguria. Anyway he saw in my profile that I liked to cook and he told me he and his wife were really into cooking too.
We started discussing how to cook rabbit since rabbit is something I haven't quite mastered cooking. You see - even though rabbit is almost a staple in Spain and you can buy it in any old supermarket, it's not something they eat anymore in Japan. If you tried to find rabbit at a butcher in Tokyo these days, I'm not sure you could find any.
I'm not sure when they stopped eating rabbit in Japan, but in the days when there was a ban on eating anything with four legs due to religious (Buddhist) reasons, they made an exception for the rabbit and categorized it as a 'bird'. In Japanese you have special words for counting different types of things, so you wouldn't count pencils and paper in the same way. Horses and sheep are counted in a different way and so are birds. To this day, even though the Japanese don't eat much rabbit anymore (maybe they do in the countryside, but I have never seen rabbit being served there), they are still counted in the same way as birds, even though children would count them in the same way as other small four legged creatures such as dogs and cats.
There's of course the reservation about eating rabbits. I don't believe my mother ever cooked rabbit. The reality is that when you have a pet rabbit, you don't really want to think about eating any other rabbits and I used to keep them as pets. That said, I used to have a pet rooster, but that didn't stop me from eating chicken. In fact when I was a kid, fried chicken (the way my mother used to make it, marinated overnight) was one of my all time favorites.
Anyhow, I digress.
I told Samuele I didn't have much experience cooking rabbit and wasn't really impressed with the one attempt I made a few months ago. He then told me about his favorite rabbit recipe. I told him certain ingredients were impossible to get in the small coastal city of Spain where I lived. His recipe required Vermentino wine,Taggiasca olives and extra virgin olive oil from the same kind of olives. He explained that these olives produced a sweet and aromatic oil very different from the spicier oils produced in Southern Spain and I just couldn't use Spanish olives and olive oil and he'd send them to me.
Was I going to say no? No way!
When he went back to San Remo for Easter, he purchased the goods in his home town and after the busy period following the holidays calmed down a bit, packed them in a box and sent them to me. It took awhile, because for some reason post between Italy and my area of Spain have bad karma and things sent from there have almost always not arrived. I think it helped that this was sent registered mail. For example, Ilva from Lucullian Delights was kind enough to send me a packet of Creme of Tartar, but it never arrived. I think someone thought it was cocaine and stole it. I sure hope they enjoyed snorting up Creme of Tartar because the thief deserved to have Creme of Tartar up his nostrils.
I'll be cooking the rabbit dish as soon as I can find time and hopefully it will be soon.