23 July 2008


Last evening I had a small, dull mission, to deliver my CV to a gentleman I know who might have a job for me, come September. I knew he’d be at his restaurant in Campo San Giacomo dall’Orio. I was tired and not much in the mood for a vaporetto trip, but…

I got off at San Stae, and as I neared the campo, something familiar and dear came to me – a whiff of barbecue smoke! I turned the corner into the fondamentaEccola! The air was a blue haze, full of promising scents. Lucky old me! I had stumbled into Chiesa San Giacomo’s summer festival, traditionally celebrated with good, old-fashioned barbecue cooked over the half-drums. Ribs ribs ribs!! plus chickens, sausages, chops, and “all the fixin’s.” I landed in Paradise, and right at the dinner hour!

Granted, the ribs weren’t my beloved baby backs – more like the Fred Flintstone variety. And there was no spicy-sweet BBQ sauce to lick off the fingertips. But the fire was being tended by obvious veterans and someone back in the kitchen knew the value of a good dry rub, so the juicy bones had the requisite crispy, blackened bits I adore. What an unexpected treat to find so far from home!

Under the strings of colored carnival lights, my fellow picnickers and I made short work of our portions, paying no attention whatsoever to the quick summer shower that dampened us, nor the really loud disco music that made conversation impossible but dancing irresistible. We didn’t care. We had barbecue!