Find a watermill and you’ll find a friend

Yesterday I was passing by a tiny village out of Milan, when I saw this watermill. Lost in his magnificent solitude, not afraid to show his wringles to the everyday drivers. I compare it with mine, and find the same sense of pride against time and modern life. The wheel was working till the recent past, mashing corn flour most likely from a tiny river still aside. It has vertical wheel, not horizontal like mine, it is tall and made friendship with a climbing ivy, there to protect the pillars against the humidity of country winter. Not far from this place, the name of the village is Terrazzano, there is a jellow label pointing to a Sicilian food products outlet. What a coincidence… so I follow the lables and reach this place. No frills and straightforward like a sicilian peasant. Carmelo runs it together with his milanese wife, who still cannot understnd what her husband says in Sicilian. Guests ask for olives and he shouts: ‘olive punciute’! (i.e. nailed olives, stuffed with a blend of spices).
I buy some pistachios cream (try it, a better substitute for nutella) and I buy my favourite delicacy in the kitcken: dry salted swordfish eggs. It is a flavour enhancement from Marzameni, a beautiful fisherman village on that corner of sicily where Europe bath together with Africa. When I pay for it, Carmelo starts making his maths… and then tells me, just give me —- euros. Only the eggs were costing more than ——– euros, but friendship you cannot pay.

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