Insalata Caprese -- Addio! (Update)
Robert P. Imbelli March 27, 2008 - 7:55pm
Even occasional visitors to il bel paese know the simple but delectable antipasto known as "insalata caprese."Here's a mouth-watering refresher from Wikipedia:
Insalata Caprese (Salad in the style of Capri) is a simple salad from the Italian region of Campania, made of sliced fresh mozzarella, plum tomatoes and basil. It is seasoned with salt, black pepper, and olive oil. The main ingredients are similar to Pizza Margherita, but are not cooked.Ideally, the mozzarella is di bufala campana, the olive oil is extra virgin from the peninsula of Sorrento and the tomatoes and basil are grown in the full sun of the mezzogiorno.The dish reproduces the colours of the flag of Italy.
Ahim! we may have the heavenly dish no longer. The problem is that the bufale from whose milk the mozzarella is produced have been feeding on all too earthly contaminants. Imports from Italy have already been banned in Korea and Japan; the European union is demanding information that the Italians have been slow too provide (what else is new?); and tourists may not be encouraged to be told that 84% of the mozzarella is consumed in Italy and not exported.Update:News from Corriere della Sera:The European Union satisfied by Italian government reports and reassurances, but France and Portugal still cautious. Japan has released blocked mozzarella imports, and Tokyo pizza-lovers breathe sigh of relief.Meanwhile, Nicholas Clifford, in his comment below, adroitly seizes the opportunity to promote "insalata vermontese!"
About the Author
Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is Associate Professor of Theology Emeritus at Boston College.