Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Sopressata

  So I was at Safeway at the deli counter buying meat and cheese (shaved turkey and smoked provolone) [though I would have preferred to go to Cub Foods but that company went kaput in Colorado, moving only to Illinois and Minnesota locations] when I heard an older German woman at the counter making her order.  It's a bit annoying the way Safeway does it.  On the East Coast (in excelsior) they give you what's called a num-ber and then when your num-ber is called, you're next.  Coloradans seem to enjoy the push-and-shove technique followed by the "who's next" lie in some sort of Hunger Game.  Hey, buddies, I got the conch!  I got the Intervention Maraca! (long story on that one but it involves Terry Gilliam a bachelorized Air Force sergeant, and an Army forward-observer for howitzers).  German older women are very noticeable and have booming voices and all look rough.  It's in their genes, no matter how Hedi they were and hyper-hot at first, they degrade into aggressive, bullish bar-wench old crows (in accordance with the prophesy).  She was asking for sopressata, and I cringed not because it's a bad cold cut.  No, it's a very good one.  She was adamant and eager to get it, too; almost .. feral.  I knew why:  Most Italian cold cuts are excellent.  Sopressata is a type of salami with a little more kick to it and a little more dense though not so much as pepperoni (well, Americanized pepperoni).  My issue here is that in Colorado Springs, there are a lot of military wives, often from primary bases.  The US has a good amount of Army and Air Force bases in Germany.  I was using what's called my brain-mind-head and diagnosed that she probably was not just an immigrant to the US, but a  military wife probably from Germany.  Stereotypes aside, I find there are some truths in them, and it's not a bad compass.  (Sorry, Society.  Stereotypes are there for a reason, just don't over-rely on them or do it cruelly). 

So this German woman orders sopressata and it's gathered by the deli girl but I know in my heart of hearts she will be disappointed.  You see, European cold cuts are far superior in quality than the American bastardized versions for the most part, and I knew she'd be disappointed, perhaps even broken-hearted.  I saw here eye that sopressata was there and she immediately got excited, perhaps even a glimmer of class, a glimmer of European Quality here on the other side of the world for her.  A taste of Hope.  A taste of home.  Nope.  I'm sure it sucked.  There's no way it's going to be as good as her village butcher who hand-rolls the ingredients into a tangy, tasty sausage: curred and sliced thick and rich, more deep tasting than thick slabs of butter slathered on French bread from France only a few dozen miles away from artisan bakers.  I'm sure she went to get mustard as well, perhaps white-wine'd mustard from the Fatherland only to find French's and Gulden's in the aisles, and perhaps Duffandorf (that little stubby bottle pretending to be European at a 10x cost as an in-joke).  No, nothing will be the same for her.

  I felt bad for German Lady.  So hopeful, so excited to get sopressata, but it'll never be the same.  She can't go back home this way.  I bet it's been a few years, maybe a dozen?  When she gets back to Germania, that butcher died and his store closed, the son never took up the trade and became a banker in Switzerland.  The French bread?  Industrialized and imported, or the local baker forgot how to make it just right, and it's dry, only being hydrated by German Lady's salty, little-girl tears.

  Or maybe Safeway's sopressata was pretty good!!!    Either way.    Ciao.


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