29 Nov The cheese saga begins
This pecorino has a past.
In the late ’60s, Uncle Al, hoping that he could tame the odor, wrapped and rewrapped several round slabs Poppy had requested and stuffed them in a bag. The cheese went through Customs safely. His clothes that shared the bag, however, had to be thrown out. No matter how many times they were washed, the smell wouldn’t go away.
But to some, the pain is worth the gain. In 2000, Uncle Bruno and JoAnn devoured the portion of the thick cheese pie Poppy gave them as a gift from his last visit to Sant’Andrea. The cheese, which is made by a goat herder, or pecoraro, near Sant’Andrea, was shared equally between Uncle Bru, Aunt Vera and Dad.
“The cheese was gone in two days,” recalled Uncle Bruno, who tried to hide his infatuation with the formaggio by sneaking some upstairs to munch on. But the smell of the cheese, of uncleaned feet, gave him away, and JoAnn caught him in the act.
We had no choice but to bring at least one pie back to Poppy from this trip. And by the second day, he called three times to remind us.
So we Uncle Bru set up a visit for the next day with Nino, Nanny’s second cousin from her mother’s side. Nino was supposed to have the cheese ready.
We thought it would be easy. It turned out to be an adventure.