I should have known not to make light of Collo di Pollo Ripieno--that I would be highlighting my cultural ignorance--something I often get upset about when other people discuss seemingly peculiar aspects of Italy or make generalizations that should not be generalizations. So-of course, I sometimes fall into my own trap. That old "pride cometh before a fall" thing!
This morning in talking with Sara, Nicoletta and Beatrice, I mentioned the chicken head on my plate yesterday. This apparition didn't seem at all strange to them; in fact, they laughed at my reaction and explained that: Collo di Pollo Ripieno is a typical Tuscan dish and is considered quite good. Naturally, the stuffing has many variations, which makes much sense.
The history of this creation comes from centuries of the contindina and master/farmer relationship. Food was usually scarce for farmers as the landlord would take possession of most of the meager crops and livestock. From this grew the need to make use of everything that was edible or could be made edible. Nothing was wasted or thrown out if it could be used for sustenance--including chicken necks.
Now in the 21st century, the subsistence food of stuffed chicken necks is relegated to a prized menu item. Giving one more example of how history has a way of twisting nostalgia into strange shapes--such as the contindinas' old farm houses which are being resurrected into beautifully exquisite Tuscan homes.
So--next time you see Collo di Pollo Ripieno on the menu, give it a try and know you are connecting with history.
God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.