Carol Forster column

False widow spider
False widow spider

So, you thought you enjoyed your food, huh? Have you ever tried Stracchino, which is not a character from Montalbano, but pure heaven spread on an Altamura panino.

Stracchino is a squidgy, squidgy, oozy thing that renders you helpless to its charms. Once tried, you will be a slave to the lure of the nearest supermercato where you will find sensible old ladies organising the vegetable man with their culinary demands.

‘Would signora like the spinach washed for an extra 10 Euros?’

At first this seems a ludicrous plan when you can turn on your tap at the flick of a wrist, but have you ever seen what little delights there are on your greens.

Once you’ve seen a few evil looking spiders and beetles, you will be sprinting to your local fruit’n’veg for his veg wash specials.

And talking of creepy crawlies, a colleague awoke one morning to find a new resident in her flat that had taken pride of place on the kitchen floor – a big, plump, proud scorpion.

This put an end to her shoeless folly, make no mistake. I’ve never seen a woman don her shoes so quickly in my entire life. Everything tastes so much better in Italy.

Here even the common tomato seems to take on magical properties and tastes exquisite. However, there’s one thing that’s missing, I will have to mention - that elephant in the room – the common teabag is present, but lacking in strength. I’ve pronged and I’ve squeezed so that every last drop will somehow transform to a strong Tetley’s tea, but sadly like choosing the wrong type of boyfriend, it never quite made it and couldn’t compete.

I shudder to think of those nice smiling waiters, presenting quite proudly the said sorry bag.

Then trying to hide my sincere disappointment as grey squidgy drink would slowly grow cold. Avoiding at all costs the grey gloopy substance and thinking you’ve made it without any fuss, then waiter returns with a freshly warmed second, in case you’d not noticed the first had gone cold.