Monday, August 23, 2010

A Stroll with Donpasta - Gastrophilosopher

Daniele De Michele
I discovered a new philosophy the other day.  A gastrophilosophy.  My teacher?  His name is Daniele. Daniele De Michele…but most people know him as Donpasta.

 Donpasta-poet, cook, storyteller, gastrophilosopher.

I met Donpasta last week.  He was our  simpatico guide through the streets of Ariano Irpino as part of the Folkintour series.

A philiosophy that took us on a stroll, a passaggiata.  We stopped here and there to learn a little about history and culture asseen through the eyes of Donpasta. From the courtyard of a Norman Castle; the tale of why he believes Bob Dylan is from Puglia…From a staircase of an ancient building; the legend of why rucola has a bitter taste…and from the window of Ariano’s town hall ;the origin of Ulysess. All amusing, entertaining, and very very creative.

Our journey took us to a small stage set un in a piccolo piazzetta. It is here where Donpasta took the arena and put on his show. A show where he shared with us his Puglian roots through stories, tales, and recipes. By his side was singer, songwriter Luca Morino.  We really got to know him through one of the recipes of his childhood, parmagiana melanzane della nonna. He talked about this particular recipe, complete with mortadella and meatballs, as a video demonstrated the recipe preparation step by each delicious step. He shared with us his memories of Ferragosto, Sundays at grandma’s, the enormous lunches. Lunches where everyone was invited and everyone participated. How basically a community was constructed around this simple yet complex dish…A dish that could be debated for hours as far as ingredients, whether to use eggs and flour when you fry or not, etc, etc, etc.I  was curious about the mortadella and meatballs.

As he spoke, I strongly believe that many of us in the crowd thought back to our family get togethers, the meals that bring people together, meals where, as he put it…

30 invitati, ognuno di questi invitati pensa che deve cucinare per 30. 30 per 30 fa 900 persone che possono mangiare questi pasti…

30 guests, each one thinks that they must cook for 30 people.  30 times 30 equals 900 people that can eat these dishes...

Lunches where you can’t leave anything on your plate…where you are told to eat, you’re too thin…

He shared, we listened…he cooked, we tasted…he passed on his gastrophilosophy, we absorbed, reflected, thought about what he had to say.

I think that’s what he wanted…

Donpasta and his “Cook and Roll Circus” is definitely a not to miss…

http://www.donpasta.com/

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