The New Gastronome
A Rich Hug!
Casatiello, It’s a Pleasure!
by Constanze Weiss
by Constanze Weiss
The bells ring out again in the background. They had not been gone for long, and yet they seem to have gathered new strength in their recent absence, ringing loudly and festively for everyone to hear; booming so intently, they might have been spring’s official welcome committee. For a second, everything else falls quiet: the surrounding people seem transfixed by the bell’s song, and even the birds have lost their will to add anything to the masterpiece. I, too, sit in silence, patiently waiting for the Pasquetta celebration to continue.
Everyone seems to have come outside for this day; following the grass’s long-standing invitation to spend their time on its many luscious shades of green, holding picnics and BBQs. Along with everyone else, I have moved in a convivial migration towards the countryside to be at one of these famous Easter Monday picnics.
As Neapolitan tradition demands, I am beautifully done up for this occasion, religious symbols adorning my appearance. The four whole eggs beautifully woven into my dough, symbolising fertility and Christ’s rebirth, make me especially proud, as I have mastered the skill for this weekend in particular. The small pieces tying down the eggs are also part of the illustrious style, epitomising crosses. Everything about my appearance speaks of resurrection, even the circular style in which I have been baked.
“The cheese is especially important to me; his old Neapolitan version even gives me my name: ‘caso’ for Casatiello.”
After the bell’s song dies down, moments of trance leave everyone silent once more until a brave BBQer yields his fork with gusto and starts to eat. Everyone else follows. This is the moment I have been waiting for, the moment I was made for: to share my savoury goodness, composed of bread dough, eggs, salami and cheese, with the people celebrating Easter around me. The cheese is especially important to me; his old Neapolitan version even gives me my name: ‘caso’ for Casatiello. Welcome, and enjoy my friends. The pleasure is all mine!
Photo ©Aarón Gómez Figueroa