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PostItalians on Both Sides of WWII (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 12/04/17 12:35 pm)
John E asked two questions about my post of December 3rd:
1) What about "bad" prosciutto?
2) What was the experience of meeting family members who had been on the other side of the war?
Here are my responses:
1) Of course prosciutto can be bad. Only Italian (and Spanish) prosciutto is good, providing that it has been prepared according to traditional processes, which are presently subjected to regulations. Nowadays you can also find bad prosciutto, cheap imitations arriving from abroad.
Prosciutto di Parma is the most renowned and should be cut by the slicing machine, while the Toscano (preferred by my wife) is better if cut by a sharp knife. You can find raw prosciutto and cooked prosciutto. Both are good.
By the way, I do not know how many vitamins, proteins, minerals, etc. are in prosciutto but, frankly, I do not care.
2) About the experience with my relatives (actually my wife's relatives) on the other side during WWII, it was very good, loving and pleasant. It is true that I refused a chocolate offered to me by an American Officer in the very early days of the collapse of the RSI, but we were practically still at war and it was the only way to show my loyalty.
But the enemy is such only in war and when on the battlefield, as I related some time ago. My father, the captain of a battery in Libya, always invited a POW British officer to dinner at the Italian officers' mess. They generally had pleasant conversations away from the war. The British, at least in the early part of the war, were very good chaps and still believed in chivalry.
Our relatives in the States were American citizens, and as such their first duty was to support/fight for America even if they may have had a feeling of sympathy for Italy--it is a clear-cut situation and as long as one fulfills one's duty there should also be maximum respect.
Choosing to become citizen of another country, however, is not easy. When I was in the States, especially at work, everybody pushed me to become a US citizen but I could not. Some even told me that I could maintain my Italian passport and according to convenience be Italian or American, but this is not honest.
After all, can you imagine me at a naturalization ceremony going through the rite of denying all my personal story?
Today in Italy we had a new funny episode of the Italian anti-nazifascist religion. It was discovered that a Carabiniere had hung a large old German flag in his room. Immediately it became a huge scandal. The Defense Ministry ordered legal action and dismissal for such a shameful apology for Nazism. Political parties, TV, antifascist intellectuals, etc., expressed their indignation, calling for robust vigilance against such awful nazifascist (in Italy it is always nazifascist) resurgence.
However there was a small problem. The flag was of the Imperial German Navy pre-1918, nothing to do with Nazism. Apparently the Minister and all others are terribly ignorant and were unable to at least check on Wikipedia.
JE comments: There is something akin here to the use of the adjective "niggardly" in the US. It means "stingy" and comes from the Old Norse, and yet English-speakers cringe. Guilt by association? Absolutely.
I'm really craving some good prosciutto.