Connect to share and comment

An Italian summer feast

To celebrate August, Passport spoke with Rome contributor Eric J. Lyman — a sommelier, chef and food writer — about indulging Italy's love affair with its delectable cuisine.

(Photo by Daniele la Monaca/Reuters) 

 

Editor's note: The play button will work when the audio has downloaded. That may take a minute. Below is the transcript of the Correspondent Call with Eric J. Lyman.

 

Passport: Good afternoon and welcome everyone! It’s August 20, 2009, I’m David Case, Editor of GlobalPost Passport in our newsroom in Boston. Today’s call promises to be a fun and interesting one, and inspiring to the taste buds as well. We’re pleased to be speaking to GlobalPost’s Rome-based contributor, Eric J. Lyman, who is, I think it’s safe to say, a consummate “foodie” and the topic is Italy’s celebrated food and wine. Welcome, Eric.

 

Lyman: Thanks very much.

 

Passport: Before we begin, I have a couple of announcements, first, remember that the call is being recorded and will be posted on the GlobalPost Passport website. Today we’ve opened up this call to some non-Passport members, who I’d like to welcome. In case you’re unfamiliar with Passport, this is GlobalPost’s premium content section, which allows our members to have a closer relationship with the editorial team and with GlobalPost’s seventy-odd correspondents around the world. We hold calls like this each week on topics of interest to our globally engaged membership, often from the frontlines of whatever news is breaking around the world. Today’s topic is an obviously lighter, but no less important one, for those of us who love food. I would encourage all the non-Passport members to visit globalpost.com/passport for more information about what makes Passport worth joining.

 

So, Eric, first let’s share some information about your background. You come at this topic from pretty much every possible angle. You’ve been a resident of Rome for, what, ten years now?

 

Lyman: That’s right, almost ten years.

 

Passport: Ok, and in past incarnations, aside from being a bureau chief in Peru for the Wall Street Journal, you’ve been a chef, you’re a trained sommelier, and you studied at culinary school, correct?

 

Lyman: And I’m a frequent consumer of good Italian food and wine.

 

Passport: Most importantly, yes. How did you end up in Rome, Eric?

 

Lyman: I was living in Peru, which you mentioned before, before moving here, and it was a very exciting place to be, there was lots to write about, but I think after a certain point, I just wanted to have a different quality of life and there’s no doubt that the food and wine aspect is part of it because that was already an important part of my life, so I just decided to move to Italy.

 

Passport: Ok. How’s the weather there at the moment? It’s very hot, huh?

 

Lyman: It’s extremely hot, yup. I had just been in the US, in the North East, and it was pretty cool there, so it made it much more difficult to get re-acclimated to probably 100 degrees in Rome during the day.

 

Passport: And as usual in August, the city has been abandoned?

 

Lyman: That’s right. People who are here in August say that it should stay this way, there’s never any traffic jams, there are never lines for anything… but, the downside of it is that a lot of places are closed. Even a lot of good restaurants and wine and food shops are closed for the holidays. But what is open is much more available. There’s no need to call ahead for reservations at great restaurants, and the city just feels a lot more quaint and manageable in a lot of ways.

 

Passport: Now, tell us, compared to the US, how does food play a different role in Italy?

 

Lyman: I’d be hard for somebody who hasn’t been to Italy or Europe to understand the difference. It’s very central. People will build their days around their meals. Most businesses and non-touristy areas will close for a few hours every afternoon so that people can have a proper meal, and it’s a very frequent topic of conversation, not only among foodies, but among everybody. They’ll talk about having just the right kind of olive oil or a certain kind of pepper that makes the food taste just right. It’s a very, very common conversation and it’s very addictive. I’ve found myself talking about those things when I go back to the US and sometimes my friends look at me sort of cross-sided and wonder why it seems to be so important all of a sudden.

 

Passport: Right. Well, talk about the role of the restaurant. How often do people go out to eat and what type of restaurants do they go to?

 

Lyman: Well, I think there are certain restaurants that are special occasion restaurants that can be quite expensive by anybody’s standards and can be quite involved in terms of the amount of time and the amount of attention they require. But every neighborhood has a little osteria or trattoria or even something called tavola calda, which literally translates to mean “hot table” that’s sort of an Italian equivalent to a cafeteria where you just go in and you order a portion of something that’s already made. And they have something called the neighborhood discount. If you’re a resident in most part of Italy, you pay a different price, a lower price, than people who are visiting or who are passing through and it’s very economical. And there are some places where people will eat lunch every day, or most days, and sometimes you have a coffee or a little dessert in the afternoons and things like that. I think that if you counted on the most basic level, most Italians, specifically in urban areas, probably eat at least something out every day.

 

Passport: That must burn the tourists a bit that they don’t get the same price as the locals.

 

Lyman: I think they probably don’t know because they pay the price on the menu, whatever that is, for the most part. You ran a story a little while ago in GlobalPost saying that that wasn’t necessarily the case, that there was some restaurants that took advantage of travelers, but for the most part, it’s the same price, but you get a discount if you’re a regular. And most of Italian society is based on the idea of relationships. And from that point of view, that perspective, it makes sense because you have a relationship with the bar owner or the restaurateur. And so maybe instead of charging you twelve euros for the pasta and a glass of the house wine, you pay seven or something like that. And then it makes it affordable and it makes it reasonable for you to show up every day and its sort of a reason for the relationship that you built. It’s the cornerstone of that person’s business, after all.

 

Passport: Let’s talk about the regional cuisines, Eric. Here in the States, people think of Italian cuisine as lasagna, pizza, spaghetti, and that sort of thing, but it’s really a very varied cuisine. Can you talk about some of the trends in regional cuisine and what your favorites are?

 

Lyman: I think I’m sort of partial to Southern cuisine most of the time, especially when the weather’s hot, because it’s got a quality that can get you through the hot day. It’s Sicilian cuisine, specifically, and it’s got a whole variety of tastes. There’s capers, there’s mint, there’s oregano, there’s almonds, there’s olives, and it all seems to mix in a way that is just… it’s wonderful. But the sort of dishes that you mentioned are the sort of staples of the Italian cuisine in the US, but that’s Italian northern cuisine. You never get any meatballs here and the kind of lasagna that you get in Italy is lighter than what you get in the United States. Same thing for pizza. And I think there’s quite a bit of variety based on the geography. For example, places along the seaside will have very fish kinds of dishes. But wherever you go, I think the best rule of thumb is just to try whatever’s local. Even if I’m a huge fan of Sicilian cuisine, if I’m in Milan, I’m not going to go to a Sicilian restaurant, or vice versa. And the last thing I’ll say on this is one of the big advantages of living in a big city like Rome or Milan or Bologna, is that it includes “immigrants” from other parts of Italy, so these are centers where you can try any kind of cuisine without really moving much. Because if you’re a resident of Rome, if you get tired of the sort of blue-collar, Roman cuisine it’s quite easy to find a good Sicilian restaurant or a Genovese restaurant or something like that, but when you’re traveling, there’s nothing to beat just having whatever’s local.

 

Passport: Now, you’ve had a lot of experience doing food writing in Italy and you were, most importantly for our purposes, you were one of the principal writers for the Rome Zagat guide. What did you learn from that? And can you make some recommendations for us about what we should actually eat when we visit Rome?

 

Lyman: Well, there are two different things that you mention. Now, the Zagat guide is a very interesting project because it’s half-written by local people like me and half-written by travelers for recommendations and so on. But, it tends to be more special occasion food, which is great, and some of the greatest restaurants in the world are in Rome, La Pergola, for example, is a three-star restaurant in the Hilton hotel overlooking Rome on a hillside and it’s just beautiful and the food is exquisite. But it’s also the kind of place you need to reserve several weeks ahead of time, and you’d better bring your gold card because it’s not a cheap place to go. Where I like to go on my own, and this is not the kind of place that appears in a guide book like Zagat, is just sort of the neighborhood places, like I mentioned before, and I’ve got five or six of these places that I really like a lot and they’re mostly just off the beaten track, people know about them through word of mouth, quite often there’s not even a sign outside to say that there’s anything there. You know, half the time, you discover them by sticking your head in the door and following a wonderful smell around the corner. And those are the kinds of places where I take people when they come to visit and where I like to stop sometimes when I’m by myself with a good book or speaking with the staff or when I’m with other people, seeing what they’ve come up with that day.

 

Passport: These are the kinds of places that we, as visitors to Rome, might not be able to find?

 

Lyman: There are a couple of them that have been able to walk the line between being well-known and still remaining very characteristic. But, for the most part, that’s right. And in fact, one place comes to mind in the Bohemian neighborhood of Trastevere in Rome, there’s a place that’s run by a guy that I’ve known for several years called Johnny and he’s got about six or seven tables in the summer and about three in the winter because they’ve all got to be indoors, and if a person he doesn’t know stops by, he’ll size them up and if he sees somebody suspicious, he’ll say, “this is not a restaurant, these are just my friends coming over for dinner.” Because he doesn’t want to be reported to the authorities or to get his name out there too much because he wants to have people he knows and likes around and there are places like that around that are not in the average guide book and that are very, very charming. I’ve never brought a guest to any of those places without having them be charmed by the experience.

 

Passport: How about this? I have an idea, actually, for a story: would you be willing to share some of those restaurant recommendations with us and maybe we can post them on the Passport website?

 

Lyman: I’d be happy to do it. I’d probably have to check with Johnny, the guy I just mentioned, to see if it’s ok with him, but in any case, I’d be happy to do that. Yeah, I think that would be something quite interesting, sure. We’ll come with five or six of these places and we’ll write a short summary of each one and a couple of pictures, something like that?

 

Passport: Sure, maybe we’ll do a little thing about the phenomenon of these quasi-legal restaurants where you get home-cooked food and come up with some recommendations, that’s a great idea.

 

Lyman: Ok, well, I’m going to do that then.

 

Passport: I’d like to remind people that you can feel free to jump in if you’d like, if you have some questions to ask, otherwise I can keep asking questions. Ok, Eric, I’m curious, how often do Italian people eat kind of the whole line-up that we hear about with antipasto, pasta, meat course, dessert, etc.?

 

Lyman: If there’s one question that I get asked, almost without fail by people outside of Italy, its how do Italians stay so thin if they eat an antipasto plate, and a pasta plate and a meat plate and then a bottle of wine and dessert and an after dinner drink and a before dinner drink all the time? And the answer is, they don’t. That’s a special occasional meal. What most people do is they pick and choose. So the antipasto, the appetizer, is pretty standard, but what a table of three or four might do is take two or three of those plates and split them, just to have with a glass of wine. And then people will have the pasta or the meat, not both. Some people will skip the dessert. In the end, most people will end up having two or three courses when they go out to dinner because the portions are quite generous, but the whole line up of several courses is about a three or four-hour dinner and I think it’s something that most people do only two or three times a year.

 

Passport: And this time of year the cuisine is a bit different than at other times of the year?

 

Lyman: That’s right. I think it’s something that I was unaware of before I moved here, but the cuisine changes in a lot of ways. First of all, for the most part, Italians don’t rely on canned and bottled things; most of it is fresh so it depends on what’s available. So things like chestnuts, for example, which are very common in winter cuisine, are not common at all in the summer because they’re out of season. And then the other part of it is that you want to have something much lighter because a big, heavy meal full of cheese, olive oil and so on, will just sit in your stomach and be more difficult to eat in the summer, so people opt for much lighter cuisines and wine. I love red wine, but red wine, for example, is thirteen or fourteen or even fifteen percent alcohol and it just makes you sweat beads down your forehead while you’re drinking it. So most people go for a white wine in lieu of a red white in the summer, or there are a few red wines that are very light, maybe ten or eleven percent alcohol, one that’s pretty easy to find in the US, although the heavy versions are exported, is something called Morellino di Scansano  which is from Tuscany, or some of the lighter Barbera wines from Piedmont or Grinolino from Piedmont are all very light red wines that go quite well in the summer, but my favorite, again back to Sicily, I love these white wines that are made on the slopes of  (indecipherable) and they taste volcanic and they’re really refreshing on a hot day. It’s the same kind of pleasure I got from drinking a Slurpy when I was a kid. They’re not complex. They’re very refreshing on a summer day.

 

Passport: Can you say the name of that wine again? You voice dropped out at the end.

 

Lyman: The one from Sicily?

 

Passport: Yes.

 

Lyman: Just about any whites, there are several grapes; Sicily’s got a wonderful selection of native grapes, so there’s not a specific grape to look out for. Just look for the word Etna, which is the name of the big volcano that’s on the Northeastern part of Sicily and if you see Etna Bianco, it’s probably going to be a mix of all these grapes that are local Sicilian grapes and they’re mixed in different proportions. But the proportions are not as important as the idea there, it’s just a nice, refreshing, wine made at a high altitude on the sides of what is really the largest active volcano in Europe and the quality of these wines has just increased by leaps and bounds in recent years.

 

Passport: Huh. Etna Bianco. I think I’ll have one of those for lunch today. It sounds like a good time, we’re sort of transitioning into wine here, can you give us the sommelier’s two minute or three minute run-down on how to understand regional Italian wine?

 

Lyman: It’s a tough thing, you know. Most of the reform that resulted in the wine laws in Europe was done around the same time. In France it was done in the 1850’s and it was done more or less between the 1840’s and 1870’s in Italy. But the problem was that Italy was not a united country at that point  and so there are Tuscan wine laws and there are Roman wine laws and there are Sicilian wine laws and they’re all different. And it’s really hard to understand. For example, the Montepulciano can be a town, which it is, in Tuscany, or it can be a grape, which is grown in Abruzzo, and so if you see the word Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo, that means that it’s a wine made in Abruzzo from the Montepulciano grape. But if you see the Vino Noble de Mulipuciano, the noble wine of Montepulciano, that’s an entirely different thing. It’s made in the village of Montepulciano from a different grape called Sangiovese, the grape made famous by Chianti. So there’s not really a rule of thumb, expect to say that it’s very confusing. Two quick tips that I will give: if you see “di,” D-I, apostrophe, and then a word that starts with a vowel, that means it comes from that city or that region. And if you know something about Italian geography, it gives you an idea, so something d’ Abruzzo will be from Abruzzo or d’Elba or something like this will point to where the wine is from. And that can give you an idea, generally speaking. Northern wines are lighter than Southern wines. And the other thing is that there are more grapes commercially grown in Italy than any other part of the world. There’s about a thousand commercially grown grapes in Italy, compared to something like fifty in France. And that’s a whole smorgasbord of great things to try, so if you see an unusual grape you’ve never tried before, give it a try. You never know, you could like it a lot and you can have a little niche of the market that you can call your own.

 

Passport: Sound great. I guess that was an impossible question to answer and you did a pretty good job of it. Let’s turn back to food for a bit. Can you tell us about the best meals you’ve ever had in Italy?

 

Lyman: I think that what the idea of the “best meal” quite often comes down to location and company and things like that, and I’ve had a bunch of really good meals. But, when I think about what is the best meal, probably it was something that I had at the restaurant that I mentioned earlier, La Pergola. And it wasn’t even an a la carte meal, it was part of a fixed menu or something like that. And I remember going there and thinking to myself what I shame it is that I decided to write about food and wine so often in my life because I probably will have lost the pleasure of trying something that is just astounding and I’ll probably become callused, you know like the great baseball fan who doesn’t enjoy the game as much as he used to 162 games a year. And I thought it would be like that with me and I risked that happening. And yet, when I went to La Pergola, it seemed so naïve to think that because it was so appealing in every way. It was a treat for the taste buds, but also the smells, visually, the way it paired with the wine, and the kind of service, the view, everything just combined together and it makes for an unforgettable dining experience. If I put a lot of thought into it, I’m not sure if I would decide that was my best meal, but when you asked me the question, that’s the first thing that comes to mind.

 

Passport: And La Pergola, P-E-R-G-O-L-A, correct?

 

Lyman: Right. But be sure to call about six or eight weeks ahead of time for reservation if you come into Rome because it’s hard to get.

 

Passport: Ok, how about some of the more memorable, simple meals that you’ve had. Frankly, I must say, for me, Italian food is kind of a sinful pleasure. My wife is French and I really don’t have the opportunity to go out to Italian. We always steer towards French food. One of the best meals that I’ve ever had was actually in the Bordeaux region of France when I was writing a story for a magazine. We had a baker and there was a wine-maker and several other people in the food business there and you know, it was a warm, August afternoon, maybe 2 o’clock or so, and we sat behind the bakery and the set up a very simple feast of fresh bread. Really, really delicious fresh crusty bread and some great cheese and charcuterie and some local wine followed by some really, really top shelf cognacs. And I’ll never forget it, it was a great afternoon. Do you agree that some of the best meals are the simple ones that you can coble together from the various different artisans?

 

Lyman: Well, without a doubt, that’s the case. I think that if you go to a meal like the one I described at La Pergola, you sort of need to prepare for it. Not only financially, and only in terms of making reservations a long time in advance, but also emotionally, because you don’t go to a meal like that and get lost in conversation. The main thing is definitely the meal, where on the other hand, if you go to some of these simple restaurants, the food is no less intriguing, but it doesn’t have to be the star of the evening. And some of the best things I’ve had are just very simple pairings. There’s something in Tuscany that I love called Lardo di Colonnata. Lardo is just lard, it’s the fat off of a pig’s back and it’s kept underground in these marble casks for eighteen months or two or three years and it’s aged with pistachios and rosemary and peppercorns and things like that and it’s so thinly put on a piece of toast that it’s just sort of melted on the toast and it’s unforgettable. A wine maker in Bolgheri which part of Tuscany, one of the great wine growing areas of Tuscany opened up one of his bottles of wine from the cellar which had been aged for fifteen years or so and he told me that it needed to be served with food. He had some black truffles that had been taken in from the area just recently and mixed them up with some scrambled eggs. It doesn’t sound that good, some black truffles, scrambled eggs and a great red wine, but it’s a beautiful mix on a fall afternoon. And things like that are a target between two or three or four different tastes together can just be unforgettable and are also the sort of thing that you come across in a simple restaurant.

 

Passport: Once again, I’d like to invite people to jump in. This is a good time to start our open session. If you’d like, press *6 on your phone and go ahead and ask Eric a question.

 

Caller 1: I have a question about gelato.

 

Passport: We have a question about gelato, great.

 

Caller 1: What’s the trend like over there? Are there any new, big shops opening up, or any big gelato masters out there now?

 

Lyman: I think that gelato, just by it’s nature, has to be done on an artisanal level.  Now, you can buy gelato in the super market and buy two liters of it and stick it in your freezer, but the best gelato, anyone will tell you who’s a fan of it, and I am a fan of it, is the stuff that was probably made yesterday and is sold by the guy who made it. So I think it doesn’t lend itself to that sort of thing. Every once in a while, in the newspapers, there is a story about a guy who’s a gelato master or something. And they’re usually in the south. Naples or in Sicily. But these, they’ll be the new trend or something, but it’s not like you can discover a new flavor of gelato, it’s just somebody who has a very delicate touch. But I think sort of as a rule, it does not lend itself to be done on a large scale. One anecdote I remember is I had a friend from Catania, which is in Sicily, and there’s one gelateria, I think it’s called Gelateria a Francavilla di Sicilia, which is quite well-known and I asked her if she would bring me there because I had never been, and she said, “oh, it’s not good anymore.” And I said, “why not?” And she said, “because they opened up a second location and now they have to make enough for both of them and they can’t possibly make it as good as they used to.” And so I think the rule of thumb is that most people have their opinion about where the best gelato in their city is made. I happen to think it’s a place that’s near the Trevi fountain here in Rome, but you can talk to ten Romans and you might get ten different answers. But I think the point is that you want to go to a place where it’s made locally. Where it’s made in one little location with just a few dedicated employees and so on. I think you need a certain amount of caution and love to make something like that and it needs to be quite fresh.

 

Caller 1: Great, thank you.

 

Passport: Any other questions? Is someone asking another question? I heard a phone beep. Ok, I have another question. If you do have a question, you can interrupt me after this one. You’ve been talking a lot Eric, about fresh food and seasonal food and local food, and it reminds us that the Slow Food movement actually began in Italy. Can you talk about that? What’s going on these days? Is it still a major movement?

 

Lyman: Yes, it is a major movement. I don’t know of any new trends, but it’s got as much steam as any point in the last few years. If anybody doesn’t know, Slow Food is a movement that started actually in Rome in the 1980’s and it’s founded by a group of people from northern Italy, near Turin. But they opposed the opening of the first McDonald’s restaurant in Rome in 1985 that was opening near the Spanish Steps. And eventually it did open and it still exists. But the movement that opposed it sort of gelled. And they named it Slow Food, it’s even named Slow Food in Italian and the point is to oppose the advent of fast food. These days, there are Slow Food guidebooks… I never travel in Italy without my Slow Food guidebook and it’s quite a nice thing to do as you’re approaching a town and it’s lunch time and you look in there and see there’s a Slow Food restaurant and you call and make a reservation and stop by. And I’ve always had a great meal by doing it that way. There are “Slow” cities and “Slow” tourist itineraries and all sorts of things like that. They produce books and magazines. And the whole point is to identify cities and restaurants and so on that do things the way that these people believe they should be done. Most of them or all of them don’t have deep freezers. They don’t use canned food or bottled food, except for wine of course, and it’s all just fresh, it’s seasonal – almost always the restaurant changes based on the season, and quite often it changes weekly, or even daily. And it’s just sort of people who have dedicated themselves to quality food. And there’s a guidebook, even for some parts of the US, I believe, that’s quite new called “Slow Food USA,” but the heart of it is certainly here in Italy. And it’s a big, thick book, eight or nine hundred pages, but it’s the kind of thing that every food lover in Italy has in the trunk of their car in case they end up in an unfamiliar area around lunch or dinner time.

 

Passport: That sounds great. Let me open the floor up again. If anyone has a question, this is the last opportunity to jump in.

 

Caller 1: I have one more question regarding the Italian pantry. What would you consider staples to have in your Italian pantry at home?

 

Passport: Good question.

 

Lyman: Yeah, that’s… I mean, it really depends on what kind of regional cuisine. And I’m not trying to cop out on it, but for example, people in the south never have butter in their pantry and the people in the north use butter a lot. And capers, for example, very popular in the south and they’re not in the north. But I think the obvious things are tomato, basil, maybe mozzarella cheese, prosciutto ham, are things that you could probably find in most parts of the country. Also, different types of pasta… but even then, the pasta can change, some places it’s the long sort like spaghetti or fettuccini, and other places, like in Central Italy, it’s all tortellini, in the south it’s shorter pasta because if they put some kind of fish or something in it, it tends to hold the fish together better. So, I think it’s really hard to generalize. But if there’s one thing that’s Italian, it’s probably the combination of basil and tomato. I think if you’re going to boil it down to one thing, I think that’s a safe bet.

 

Passport: Before we close, I need to ask a question about coffee. I think it’s fitting that we close with coffee. You’ve mentioned to me in the past the Italy is the only big country in Europe without a Starbucks. Why is that?

 

Lyman: Well, I actually wrote a story about this a few years ago before GlobalPost started. But I wrote a story about how a Starbucks planned to come into Italy. The founder of Starbucks, apparently, got the idea for Starbucks from a cup of coffee in Florence, I believe, or maybe Bologna. But anyway, he got the idea from a cup of coffee somewhere in Italy. But I think the problem is, coffee bars in Italy are so common, so inexpensive, and so good, that it would be really hard for Starbucks to get a leg up. Most Italians, when they travel abroad to a place where there are Starbucks, the US, England, or now most of Europe for that matter, are intrigued by the idea of going to Starbucks and they go once or twice because they’ve heard of it, but then they stop going because it’s not what they’re accustomed to. You know, the little shot of espresso that you get in a little Italian coffee shop cost 60 or 70 or 80 euro cents, so no more than a dollar, and it’s delicious and it’s a different thing than the espresso that you get at Starbucks. Without making a judgment on Starbucks coffee, I’ve got my own prejudices, but however good somebody thinks a Starbucks espresso is, I think it costs two and half or three dollars. And so it’s hard to argue in favor of that when you get something great for less than a dollar and it’s in a ceramic cup and it’s in a place full of ambiance. So I don’t know the official reason why Starbucks hasn’t come into Italy yet. I do know that they need to have a certain number of locations for it to make economic sense, like five of them. Because with the cost of importing, everything is too high. But my theory is, they’d just have a hard time competing against the native coffee. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Starbucks here, eventually. I remember being in Vienna once, about five or six years ago, and hear the Viennese saying, “we don’t think that Starbucks is going to come here because we have our coffee culture” and so on. And now there’s a Starbucks in most of the main plazas in Vienna. So maybe they’ll eventually make it into Italy. But if they do, eventually start to open up locations, I really think they’re going to have a hard time.

 

Passport: Fantastic. Well, Eric, you’ve succeeded in making me hungry. First let me remind everybody: if you’re not Passport members, you can check out what we’re doing, there are a lot of interesting offerings above and beyond what you usually get from a media site. You can find out more about us at globalpost.com/passport. Eric, thanks a lot for speaking with us today.

 

Lyman: My pleasure. I hope we can do it again some time.

 

Passport: Great, I’m going to head off… we’re here at GlobalPost, right next to the North End in Boston, which is Boston’s little Italy. So, I think I’m going to enjoy myself a plate of pasta of some sort. Thanks a lot everybody. Have a good one. 

 

 

http://www.globalpost.com/passport/correspondent-call/090821/italian-summer-feast