Old country comfort food

In the last century the poor farmer folk of my mountainous region of Italy would take a stale piece of dry bread, wet it with olive oil, smear some tomato on it, sprinkle some sea salt harvested from the local Adriatic, and perhaps garnish with some wild weed like oregano or basil. Now this is my comfort food.

Bruschetta

Bruschetta

In a restaurant, this folk dish has become bruschetta. Growing up it had no name, just “pane é pomedori” (bread with tomato).

Much of what was derived from necessity becomes a cultural artefact. In Canada there has been a lot of press regarding the seal hunt. This week the Governor General participated in an Inuit ceremony gutting a seal and taking a bit of the heart. Some would feel disgust, but it is a traditional food source and one we can not just disregard because of sentiment.

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