Tuesday, May 20

Death in Italy - will Godfather-style traditions finally be eclipsed by Starbucks?

Considering the amount of play the most famous death on earth gets in Italy, on every church, museum, and homes from The Last Supper to the reenactment of the crucifixion by the Pope, to the resurrection and all that followed...for a foreigner, Italians have a very surprising way at "celebrating" the death of a loved one.  As I penned in my book, Burnt by the Tuscan Sun and recounted in other books, blogposts and presentations, well, those of us used to a sort of 'wake' after the Big Event, always feel like something goes missing when the Italian crowd simply dissipates into thin air after the mass & burial (or maybe, that's the point - it does, indeed, make a rather tidy metaphor).
Italians usually cite their Catholicism which is in play. To which I rebut, "Have you ever been to Ireland, or anywhere in Latin America, or - heck - Detroit?!" People party until they feel they're practically escorting the dead right up into heaven. But, maybe it's because people just like to eat.  One blogger on the subject states, "He would've wanted everyone to eat." So, why not in the country that made eating one of their national treasures?
I love this book title.
But, the article I found it on is equally compelling
So, leave it to Italian funeral home services to finally usher in a different kind of funeral, replete with dancing halls, an orchestra, and of course, a banquet. Taffo, the Company who brings us all the witty adverts on a level only found issued by Ikea, of course had to be behind it. As Shelley, An Americana a Roma has repeatedly pointed out, their ads just kill me (okay, apologies)...

I mean, this is the company that actually pays for 'product placement' in movies.
But, while they're - errrr - warming up to the idea of big festivities, they better watch out: The Funerary Company that wanted a Starbucks inside (naturally, only in the USA) just got ruled out by a judge...
Regardless, Heaven (for those left behind) can't wait.

here is the video of the ribbon-cutting

Saturday, May 3

You know you're in (yawn) Switzerland when a cheese merger makes front page news

Anyone who's ever come near Switzerland knows two things about it: You can get the most outrageous fondue on the planet, and that you will most likely have to mortgage your maison for that palatable pleasure. You walk off the pistes (or, as I am wont to do, you drive up the mountaintop and pull into the nearest parking spot) and into the everlovin' cheese chalet where you settle for the next hour dousing yourself in wine while your tastebuds battled it out with your brain: Fondue or Raclette?

These two items have been on every menu since the time 
that very first cow sat too long in the sun and cheese was born.

So it came as a shock to see on the front page of the newspapers, the awesome announcement that two mega-cheese producers would be merging into one.  Dubbed the "marriage of fondue & raclette" it rocked both financial markets and fondue lovers alike.  Who knew that one company was the no. 2 distributor of the line of cheeses for one item, the other, specialized in producing well, a type of cheese - called raclette? And, it wasn't until 2014 that the twain shall meet...excepting for on that wonderful liste of mouth-watering melted cheese meals.  Bon Appetit!

*And the best part about writing this up was discovering that there's a helpful app to help you sort it all out...Here, reviewed by padgadget.