THE LAND OF RIPOSO
Our next stop on our Italian pilgrimage takes us to Calabria, where the prevailing culture of riposo asks that you slow things down, relax and enjoy the surroundings. Riposo literally translates to “rest,” and it happens every single day in Calabria—typically from noon all the way to 5 p.m. That’s right, the rules of life for Calabrians are a little different. In fact, time itself doesn’t hold a strict schedule.
Calabria resides right on the southwest tip of Italy, with some saying it looks as though it’s kicking sweet Sicily – we like to think it’s merely lounging beside it. The picturesque collection of medieval villages within five of the region’s major cities are best known for their sprawling beachscapes framed by dramatic coves and cliff faces. If you venture deeper into the Calabrian landscape you’ll discover a treasure trove of forests with streams, canyons and stunning waterfalls.
Calabrian cuisine was built on the concept of “la cucina povera” or “peasant food”. La cucina povera makes use of cheap, readily available products and makes them sing! And while peasant food is a common theme throughout the different regions of Italy, in Calabria this is combined with a carefree attitude and plenty of Calabrian chilli peppers, which leads us to our inspired dish.
There’s perhaps no single ingredient better suited to showcase the nature of Calabrians than ‘nduja. This funkly, salty (and most importantly) fiery salami plays an integral role within the local cuisine – so much so that there is an annual festival devoted to it. Nduja—pronounced en-DOO-ya—is a soft, spreadable salume or salami which helps give our fettucine in a spicy pork ragu a delicious kick of spice.