.: In the air tonight

We all have our food memories, some good and some bad. The taste, smell, and texture of food can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back memories not just of eating food itself but also of place and setting. Food is an effective trigger of deeper memories of feelings and emotions, internal states of the mind and body. (…)
But why should this be the case?
There are several reasons. First, evolution has seen to it that food in general may be a privileged target of memory in the brain. There is a part of the brain called the hippocampus (one in each hemisphere) that is critical for memory.
(…)
The hippocampus has strong connections with parts of the brain that are important for emotion and for smell. This may explain why emotional memories can be so vivid or why certain smells trigger a sense of recall in us even before we consciously remember an event.
(…)
Candy and food in general are of course not unique in their ability to promote a mnemonic cascade. However, our evolved psychology may make food one of the more likely things in the environment around which memories are formed and focused.

http://harvardpress.typepad.com/hup_publicity/2012/05/food-and-memory-john-allen.html

One of my childhood-memories-trigger food is something quite “trivial”, but I will tell you. Mirella was my friend’s mother and I spent quite a lot of time at her house. She would create a sort of fast-food ground-breaking dish: pasta with butter and concentrate tomato. It is kind of blasfemy for italian cuisine, I know. But we, as kids, loved it. And sometimes… when I want those memories to come back to me, I cook it again. You just cook pasta in salted water, then dress it with some butter (note:italian butter is sweet, not salted) and some concentrate tomato. It’s like a throwback in time… like being again near that jukebox playing this song… I close my eyes and I feel that summer night smell of 1981…

 

.: Chocolat

I can’t stop eating chocolate. And there is always chocolate in my fridge. Is there a chemical reason for this ? Yes.

According to a recent study published in the scientific journal Current Biology, eating chocolate can be compared to consuming opium, or for that matter, perhaps heroin. As reported by LiveScience, chocolate stimulates a peptide called “enkephalin” that activates cerebral opioid receptors. Enkephalin is a “relative” to endorphin. One difference is that enkaphalin is a natural opioid, a drug-like chemical produced in and by the brain that binds to the same receptors as many anaesthetic or psychoactive drugs.

http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/3822/20120924/chocolate-drug-opiate-heroin.htm

But hey, I prefer dark chocolate, and it seems that dark chocolate truly has some positive effects.

I have tried different types of dark chocolate. All of them with above 70% cocoa. Flavoured dark chocolate is also nice, but my favourite is simple dark one.

Competitors are:

Lindt Excellence 99%
Nero Nero Novi 99%
Nero Nero Novi 88%
Nero Perugina 85%
Nero Novi Orange 70%
Nero Novi Mint 70%

And the winner is…..

I really love Nero Nero Novi 88%. I already made this competition, but my taste hasn’t changed… but I discovered something new… as to music ! Enjoy 🙂

.: Agape

La traduzione più semplice di “agape” (ἀγάπη in greco antico) è amore. Love is the simplest translation of the ancient greek word “agape”. There’s something more in the word, though. You will find a lot about it, but what you will mostly read is that it’s about unconditional love. Amore disinteressato.

Quando si ama qualcuno o qualcosa in modo disinteressato, entra in gioco un altro sentimento, abbastanza inafferrabile. Una specie di costante rimpianto per l’impossibilità di trattenere qualcosa di ciò che si vive. You feel like you can’t possess someone or something you really love unconditionally. It’s the beauty and the pain of that kind of love.

I have been to some of the most majestic, fascinating, charming, extraordinary beautiful places in the world. And when I look at images of those places I have loved so much, I feel something I can’t describe. Some painful pleasure. Some unconditional love that I can’t manage.

And still I can’t make falafel, but I keep trying. It seems easy as long as you make the balls. The official recipe is:

100 gr chickpeas – ceci
onion – cipolla
parsley – prezzemolo
cumin – cumino
coriander – coriandolo
grated bread – pan grattato

Boil chickpeas, mix with all the rest. Form some meatballs (there is no meat !), put some grated bread on them and fry in hot oil.
I ceci vanno bolliti, oppure li comprate già bolliti. Unite tutti gli altri ingredienti, nelle proporzioni che preferite. Formate delle polpettine, impanate nel pane e friggete.

They look irregular but nice.

But then… I can’t fry them properly… anyway, the taste is good, and…

…reminds me of sweet Egypt.

.: I miss the air, I miss my friends

“I only wanted to have fun
Learning to fly, learning to run
I let my heart decide the way
When I was young”

It was much sweeter to have tea with Fatima, Narjis and little Yasmine…

I really miss them, as I miss my other friends who live far from me. I wish all of them lived by me and could have a chat and a tea with me. Sometimes you have the chance.. sometimes you don’t.

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride;
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned
In process of the seasons have I seen;
Three April pérfumes in three hot Junes burned,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah yet doth beauty, like a dial hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived.
For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred:
Ere you were born was beauty’s summer dead.

Sonnet 104
W. Shakespeare

So I took the teapot Fatima gave me, so kind of her. And more, she also gifted me with green tea and some verbena leaves. Già, Fatima mi ha regalato tutto l’occorrente: il thè marocchino, la teiera e anche le foglie di verbena. Io preferisco la menta, ma la verbena è più calmante.

e ci metto anche il filtro della nonna. Yes that thing I put the tea in was given me by my sweet granny. It’s not just a tea, it’s a love concentrate.

Life can give you bitterness, but you can sweeten it… and this is the feeling for… a million years ago.