As I walk through my neighbourhood – I do so with a deeper understanding of Italians. Never before did I understand the obsession with the garden – tomatoes, zucchini, peppers. I also did not understand why they build arches of wood over their deck and entice vines to wraps themselves around each beam. Now I do. I get it.
Their need to coax tomatoes from the soil is embedded in their DNA. They have to plant and grow tomatoes in a location other than Chianti, with sometimes less than stellar results. When Chianti pommodoro has been kissed by Tuscan sun the result is a sweetness and richness in taste that is decadent. You can smell your childhood home. Memories are wrapped in the tender red skin. Dinners with loved ones show themselves through the pride of harvesting these red beauties.
Dining in beautiful ristorantes ‘al fresco’ is an experience all unto itself. Your neighbour at the table at Locando Borga Antico in Lucolena is an elderly grape vine – the main branch so thick and rough from being the main supplier of nutrients to the now complicated network that provided our cover for the most delectable dinner in Tuscany. It is lush and green and directs your attention to the greenest valley below – all vines of the same worth and beauty. To leave Tuscany and start fresh in Canada, would leave the same complicated hole in the heart of any Italian making such a sacrifice.
I get it. Your garden is beyond words of high value and importance. I couldn’t agree more.