An Old Man and His (Italian) Food

Cherrye Moore
  • By Cherrye Moore
  • September 27th, 2010

By: Cherrye Moore

I’ve written a great deal over the last four years about my adorable-yet, somewhat food-obsessed, Calabrese father-in-law. It seems no matter how much he makes-and piles into my plate-or how much I finish … he’s just never satisfied.

He’s blamed me for my husband’s decline (his words, not mine) in appetite and tries to urge the fork forward with promises of delicious bites of Italian delicacies.

So, really … I should have this coming.

A few weeks ago, we were at our daily lunch meet-up-yes, he cooks for us every day-and I noticed he had a special new glass, fully decorated and colored with sparkling, flying Winks fairies. I just couldn’t resist.

expat life in italy: nutella cups

“Nice glass, Nino.” I tell him with a grin, wondering if he realizes his glass is the envy of every 12-year-old girl on the street. “Where’d you get it?”

“Hrmph!” He cut his eyes at me, perhaps sensing my glee.

Not willing to let it go, I persisted.

“But it is so cute,” I told him. “I’m jealous. I want my very own glass, too.”

He ignored my last remark, my husband called me a mafiosa and we finished our meal.

A couple of days later, that conversation forgotten by almost everyone, he showed up with a surprise.

I was standing at the door to our bed and breakfast when he grunted and pushed a small, Nutella-filled glass in my hands.

“There you go,” he told me.

“You eat the Nutella … you get your own glass. Then,” he said pointing to the colored blue and white decoration on the glass, “you will be a champion!”

I looked down and noticed that yes, it was indeed a glass of champions, decorated with bright blue and white drawings in anticipation of the 2010 World Cup Soccer match that Italy bombed.

I laughed. Loudly.

“Thank you,” I told him.

He shook his head at me. “Tisk. You eat all of the Nutella first. Then, you you’ll have your own glass … and then you can say thank you.”

I don’t know why it should surprise me that he jumped at the chance to have me independently eat 200 grams of soft, creamy, chocolate and hazelnut Nutella, but that little present kinda made my day. Yes, two weeks have passed and the would-be world champs are still sitting in my cupboard, 2/3 full of their creamy deliciousness.

But, I’m working on it.

Until then, I thought about sneaking his glass when he wasn’t looking, but there is just something about my 78-year-old father-in-law, drinking his daily Pepsi in that pink and orange fairy glass, that I just can’t destroy.

So, I guess I’ll have to wait … and really, what better excuse is there for finishing off your very own jar of world champion Nutella?

Cherrye Moore is an American freelance writer and Calabria group tour consultant living in southern Italy. You can read more about living and traveling in Calabria at her site, My Bella Vita or visit her in person at her B&B in Catanzaro, Italy.

Photo: Blondie and Brownie

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