Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Comfort food brings us back to a particular mood, a time in our life, or people and events. It stirs memories and makes us feel safe – comfortable. It makes us smile. It isn’t just food that does this either. Many of us have our movies and television shows – Ferris Bueller, Spinal Tap, Willy Wonka, Cheers, Seinfeld – and they too transport us to a time and a feeling. And anyone at a wedding can see the way old music can move the masses.
When I lived in Europe in the early ‘80s I could hardly go into an Italian restaurant without hearing the music of Ricchi e Poveri. They seemed to be everywhere, particularly the song Mamma Maria. It seemed so silly, cheesy and perfectly ‘80s. I didn’t understand the lyrics, but just know the song seemed to be everywhere. In the early ‘90s I was in an Italian restaurant in Amsterdam when Mamma Maria came on. I could just laugh. In the last dozen years this has happened at least two more times in Paris and in Florence. But I never knew who it was. I recognized the songs, but didn’t know the band. I asked Italian friends…poorly singing and humming Mamma Maria. Nothing….nobody knew. But the wonders of the internet…one day I googled something like “80s Italian pop mama mama maria.” Found it! I watched a few videos, discovered that I remembered much more of their music than I thought. The funny thing to me was that the songs immediately conjured up the food I was eating. I can see the pesto, bolognese, pizzas, puttanesca.
So for Christmas this year I had some Amazon gift cards. In light of all this food writing I am doing, I felt justified in finally adding Ricchi e Poveri’s Greatest Hits to my music collection. Now I can’t wait to cook with it blasting. What sort of Italian masterpiece can I create with them inspiring me?
What sort of music do you link with food?
Warning….before you click over to check them out, be aware…it’s catchy, cheesy and you likely won’t be admitting to anyone that you now know this stuff!