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mantovana Tag

The Swiss people, Pine Nuts and the Mantovana cake

As I was driving along the road, a few miles away from the Fattoria dalla Colle, I saw two children and a very tall man who were searching for pine nuts under a tree alongside the road. I said to myself  “How strange! It is years since I have seen children searching for pine nuts like that”. Then I noticed that the car had a Swiss number plate and then I understood. In the  Swiss Alps you cannot  easily collect edible pine nuts from the trees so for this family searching for pine nuts is like the equivalent of us Tuscans being excited about being able to pick bananas straight from the trees in Egypt.  It is a totally new experience.

I kept pondering and reflecting about this image and after a while it occurred to me how much growing up as a child in Tuscany has changed since I was young, even in the most simple little things such as this. Today there are so many video games and other distractions which encourage  children to  play insided, away from the Natural environment which surrounds them.

Before it wasn’t like that. In the Summer when I was a child I used to spent the entire afternoon with my friends collecting  pine nuts and then crushing them on the wall. As a child I was almost addicted to the consumption of these pine nuts. My grandmother was so worried about how many I ate that she made someone  cut down all the pine trees and made them take them away. Luckily after a few years I forgot all about them.