So where is the friggin asparagus?

So where is the friggin asparagus?

Friday, May 4th, 2018

I talked to Claudia, a former Italian teacher and still friend, after I got here. She had become increasingly dissatisfied with teaching for various reasons and has recently changed jobs. At the time she was very busy and said that may we could get together in a couple of weeks. She contacted me on about that schedule and asked if I’d like to go to Mesola for a Fiera di Asparago – an asparagus fair. Sounded good to me. They have these fairs, often called sagras, often in Italy but I’d never gone to one.

Poster for the fiera

Mesola is a small town sort of in the middle of nowhere. In the big plain of the river Po. I think of it kind of like the central valley in California in that it is very flat and fertile and they grow huge amounts of all kinds of stuff there. I joked that it could be a Fiera delle Zanzare (mosquitos). One another visit there I saw (and was bitten by) lots of mosquitoes.  There is a lot of water around.

Claudia now has a car so she picked me up at my house and we drove to Mesola picking up her friend Daria on the way.

The route to Mesola

There were a couple of big tents. I mean BIG. Big enough to have tables inside to seat over a hundred people. The second thing that I noticed was that there were zero bathroom facilities. In a similar event in California there would be a row of porta-potties. Of course those who were residents were not far from home. Like I said it was a small town. But what about the out of towners? But Claudia and I went to a bar nearby, bought a glass of prosecco each and used the facilities.  Since Claudia grew up there until college age and her mother still lives there she was always running into people that she knew. That is both the advantage and disadvantage of a small town I guess.

Yes, fried fish. Claudia’s mother is on the right and Daria is on the left.

So the tents were for lunch. So what was served? Fish. I had spaghetti with clams followed by fried fish, then a little regional desert made of grape “stuff” (heck I don’t know exactly) mixed with flour. Tasty but not exactly breathtaking. Then a little plate with 4 or 5 baked deserts that were very good and of course water and wine with the meal and coffee afterward. But NO bloody asparagus. Strange.



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