This weekend, Da Marco will be serving zampone, the stuffed pig's foot that's traditionally eaten on New Year's in Italy. Da Marco is serving the zampone with lentils and the mustard-marinated fruit called mostarda.
December 31 is called La Festa di San Silvestro in Italy. You eat lentils, because they are shaped like coins, and a fatty pork dish like the stuffed pig's foot or cotechino, a baked sausage, to symbolize a rich life.
I was in Bologna for New Year's Eve in 2005. There was a huge party in the public square with a bonfire, fireworks and live music. We intended to join the festivities, but we got started with the prosecco a little too early. By eleven, I was feeling queasy. Then it started raining. So we watched the Italian version of the Dick Clark countdown on television in our hotel room. And we toasted at midnight with the dregs of the prosecco bottle while lying in bed.
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Pork and beans, and passing out early -- that's probably a pretty good description of what we'll end up doing this New Year's Eve too.