LE DELICATEZZA DI ISOLA ROBERTO
The Italian food shop is widely imitated. You can find things that look vaguely like this in many parts of the world. But this is the genuine article. That's Roberto Isola himself in a blur of action on this Friday before New Year's Eve when everybody's getting in the mood to ring in the new in the easiest most delicious way possible. That giant cheese is Italian, aged in berries from the wood.
He's a cheese lover and his cheese comes from everywhere—he even sells Stilton and English Cheddar; here in Lucca we're all used to nothing but the best, quality and variety.
This interesting-looking Dutch woman, carrying a silver-handled stick, seemed to know the lay of the land.
Grains and beans are displayed in bulk along with locally ground flours.
In his kitchen Roberto, who gets up a four in the morning, prepares the Lucchese "Tordelli," and such festive touches for New Year's Eve as insalata Russa.
I don't eat meat, but I can admire a well packaged product.
Canditi and the great local sweet bread with anis called buccellato.
There's everything you need for an intimate, celebratory evening at home, but if you don't see it out it's there in back somewhere beside the caviar.
It's said that during the war, when all of Europe was starving, Lucca was eating as if nothing had happened. It wasn't necessarily about being able to afford to eat, it was about will and creativity.