If there’s a heart to this casa, it most certainly is la cucina.
Whether it’s lounging in the sun at Polignano A Mare, sniffing caper berries in Matera, practicing for the upcoming Reggae Tadpole show in Alberobello, enjoying gelato in Altamura (Buona serrata, Magdalena!) watching World Cup and eating cheese at the home of Paolo Sr., getting inspired thanks to morning espresso (liquid ideas!) and constitutionals (“There’s so many old men here!”), or just hanging out and painting awhile, it’s always a party when Joff Winterhart comes to town!
In these chaotic times, it is our families–both the ones we are born into by chance and the ones we seek out and cultivate by choice–that keep us grounded, inspired and hopeful for the future. And so, a trip to the homeland where family is flourishing in so many places and possibilities. A multi-faceted feast for the eyes, the stomach and the heart…
In the Veneto, there’s midnight rambles and market mornings in Treviso, a quiet hour with the ancestors in the Saletto cemetary, prosecco in Ninetta’s garden at the Favero farmhouse, a boisterous lunch with the Sandro, Mario, Stefania, Yuba and the boys, a visit with Adele’s beautiful chickens, dinner with the Davanzos (thanks for the magnificent artwork, Leo and Gaby!) and a lovely morning coffee with dear Zia Silvana. Thank you all for welcoming us with open arms!
Six magical weeks. What will we miss the most? The smell of meat grilling on sidewalk parillas? The little doctors roaming the streets alone and in packs? The overworked dog walkers? Mate culture aka “a kiss with a straw”? Late starts? Big pours? The garbage cart horses and silent ambulances of Montevideo? Merienda, the little late afternoon meal that’s more like a second breakfast than an after-school snack? Fizzy water served in old time-y seltzer bottles? Snazzy old ladies and gents in jaunty hats? Elegant elevators? Blind singers on the bus? The best flea markets in the whole wide world? Wild fonts and painted flowers? Street politics? Sunday night tangos? Cortados in lovely cups? Dulce de leche everything? Everyone kissing everyone hello and goodbye? All of this, yes, but of course it’s our dear new friends we’ll miss the most. So much gratitude for our growing Sound We See family! Chau, Chicos!!!!
Chivito! Chivito! Chivito! “Have you had a chivito yet?” people would ask and then, when we shook our heads, “Oh, you MUST have a chivito! It’s the national dish of Uruguay! You MUST!” Truth be told, we were a bit scared of the thing. A giant grilled beef-ham-bacon-egg-mozzarella-olive-tomato-lettuce-mayonaise sandwich, usually eaten with a huge pile of fries on the side? There’s even a Chivito Canadiense! WHOA. Sounded like a gut bomb extraordinaire.
But how could we leave the country without an edible encounter with the mother of all meat sandwiches? And if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right which is why we made the epic journey on bus and foot to the legendary Bar Arocena, serving up no frills food near the sea in the fancy pants Carrasco neighborhood since 1923 and (according to Pick Up The Fork) “the alleged birthplace” of the chivito. Guess what? This thing was DELICIOUS!!!!!!!! Like a Skookum Chief x 1000!!!! This divine meal was followed up by a stroll on the deserted beach on a perfect fall afternoon, one last cinematic gathering at Laboratorio FAC, and a beautiful farewell dinner in Tere’s gorgeous garden… The perfect last day in Montevideo.