Pan y vino

1. I have not posted here in an awfully long time–there is much I never got around to writing mainly because I was cautious. So now that I am back, I have decided to try again.
2. Meanwhile I have discovered a restaurant named Ristorante delle Mitre at Intramuros. The restaurant may, however, not be for all sensibilities, as it is within the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines compound. While the food is decent (and reminds me of Amici’s before it succumbed to the franchising binge), the decor is strictly ecclesiastical with mitres in glass cases–and a mannequin in episcopal choir dress. (Cappa magna optional.)
3. Speaking of which, I will temporarily depart from talking profundities this Lent to focus on two other interests which I ought to write about more: reading and food. On the reading front, the book I am reading and re-reading now is Angelo Pellegrini‘s The Unprejudiced Palate, re-issued by the Modern Library Food series. Ruth Reichl, formerly editor of Gourmet magazine, wrote a tribute to him here.
His book is remarkably prescient, and the progenitors of what we know as the American food revolution with its locavores and what-not were fans of his work. His zesty prose and imaginative descriptions of the cuisine and lifestyle he chose to pursue is worth a read. Fans of Italian food, like myself, would find much to savor in his defence of the way of life which valorizes the staves of life–bread and wine.
I must also note that the book, written in 1948, was a scathing critique of the culture of consumption and waste that characterized the America of the time. In a sense, as more nations aspire to the supposed “American Dream,” critiques like this should be more widely read in order for us to appreciate how our own food cultures–and the other kind of cosmopolitanism we ought to have–should keep us sane in times of crisis.
4. Of course, it being St Patrick’s Day, I would not wish to end without a word on a recent Tuesday night activity which I discovered thanks to two fellow bookworms. The Murphy’s quiz night is a different experience from the GeekFight one which was my entree into the wonderfully silly world of trivia evenings. However, unlike the GeekFight, this one is more to my taste–it is more Jeopardy! than Beat the Geeks.
Quiz nights are good places for making new acquaintances and finding old friends. So on that note, my gratitude to the quiz night people I have met over the past year or so. And to the Murphy’s people, sláinte!

UPDATE: Since the publication of this post, I have since been requested to leave the Murphy’s team.

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