Thursday, September 08, 2011


Mr T's at Christmas

I went into Mr T's this morning and, although I got the products I wanted, I came out feeling nostalgic rather than elated as I used to:  Mr T's shop was the salumeria and delicatessen near my home and it was generally deemed to have been one of the best in Modica.  

It was Mr T who introduced me to peppered pecorino and from him I learned that the constitution of Parma ham changes as the product travels, so the Parma ham we get in Sicily tastes different to that available on the spot in Parma and by the time it gets to the UK the taste is very different indeed. And I'll never forget the delight with which he introduced me to rosemary-flavoured lard d'Arnad - "Che bel profumo, signora!

Mr T was also one of the first people to chat to me when I arrived here and, no matter how tired he was by eight o'clock in the evening, he always had a smile for everybody.  He would make you a perfect sandwich  for lunch or to take on a journey, too and I can picture him now, sprinkling the oil and oregano on the filling before topping his handiwork with freshly-baked, crusty bread.

Just before the August 15th holiday, Mr T told me that he was retiring and that, in a sad but inevitable sign of the times, his son has found work in the North so does not want to take over the business.

Now the shop has been converted into a salumeria and butcher's and I dare say I will get used to it, as we could do with a butcher's shop at this end of our long street.  Eager young ladies in smart uniforms stand ready to serve prospective customers and, though some of the cheeses and varieties of salumi have gone to make way for butchery products, there is still a good selection to choose from.  But it is just not the same without Mr T darting about in his apron, sharing his enthusiasm for good food and the odd soupçon of local gossip as he worked. 

Happy retirement, Mr T - I miss you!


LindyLouMac said...

It always takes awhile to get used to changes like this, even more so when we feel we are loosing a friend. The new place sounds so much more modern :(

James Higham said...

I think I met him few times. Is he the one near the gellati shop?

CherryPie said...

It is always sad when things like this happen.

Rosaria Williams said...

Yes, time marches on, and with it, old traditions and centuries of expertise.
I did not know that Parma prosciutto changed with travel.

Whispering Walls said...

Why does travel change the taste of Parma ham?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

HI, LindyLouMac. I'm not sure it's more modern -just different. That's the one, James and yes, you did. Hi, Cherie. Yes, it is so. Hi, Rosaria. Neither did I! Don't know why, I'm afraid, WW.


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