15 Dec Did the pecorino pass?
I can’t tell you whether we got the cheese into the country. We may have simply shipped it over. We may have left it for Dino and the family. We may have even left it for Nino’s consumption.
I CAN share a could-have-happened, might-have-happened, would-have-been-nice fictional story that the U.S. Customs office would probably object to — if it were true, of course.
After another 10-hour trip to Rome — this time getting view of the majestic Amalfi Coast — we spent time with Dino and got a quick tour of Rome. Then we spent another 10 hours on a flight from Rome to JFK.
In Italy, the lights from buildings below were generally sparse. Ditto over Nova Scotia and New England. That made arriving over the skies of New York, whose lights beamed as the sun in comparison, all the more impressive. It was obvious that many people on the flight had never been to New York before. The cabin erupted into applause at the sight of Long Island, which looked as if it were covered with an intensely thick patch of white Christmas lights.
Uncle Bruno and I spent about 45 minutes waiting for our luggage by the turnstile. It was amazing to think our adventure was over. We did it. We saw and experienced so much in so little time. We reunited with family, tasted every aspect of Sant’Andrea that we could and dug up some amazing family history. We dipped into the Ionian Sea, and had an amazing tour guide in Nino — and Frine, of course.
Now we only had one mission left to complete: Get the cheese into the country. We had come so far, it would just stink as bad as the cheese itself if it was taken from us.
As if to drag out the drama, the bag that MAY have held the cheese was the last item off the turnstile. We spent the 45 minutes thinking that the bag was somehow confiscated right off the plane. But it was safe.
Now we had to go through the imposing Customs officers. If we got caught, we really didn’t know what to expect. A fine? Confiscation? Jail? We expected the worst situation. We wound up sailing through.
The Customs guy didn’t even ask to look at the bag that MIGHT have had the cheese in it, and we walked through to the good ol’ USA without a problem.
Photo courtesy of my bud, Dominick Miserandino, who waited hours for us to arrive.