The physical year in Perugia is over. The inspiration to write and photograph has taken a monumental dip, but I’m not quite ready to end the blog . . . almost, but not quite. There are a couple places I especially miss and a few corners of the city that I’d still like to post. Like this:
La Bottega is one of our favorite spots in Perugia. It’s a tiny four seat sandwich counter that serves the best selection of cured meats and cheese we ever had. The selections are titled in Perugian dialect with Italian translations. The offerings are simple and pure. The menu includes 16 sandwiches and two combinations of meat and cheese boards. The only variation was on Thursday when Signor Geraldo added slices of seasoned, roasted pork to the menu.
We ate here more than any other place in town. Matt and I stopped by at noon way before most self-respecting Italians would consider eating lunch. There would be a couple stools available where we could watch the meat being sliced and assembled between a nice Umbrian bun. We would order a glass of wine or a local beer and feel outrageously lucky for this perfect Italian hour before the kids came home from school.
It became a special occasion place too. On November 22, when every American we knew was waking up to Thanksgiving (and not a soul in Perugia recognized its significance) Matt and I walked down to La Bottega and ordered a plate of dried sausage, prosciutto, capocollo, ciauscolo, coppa, mortadella and pecorino cheese. We felt very thankful.
During the last week in Italy, when our bags were packed and we were preparing to close the door on our year in Perugia, we took the kids to La Bottega for their first time and then ate there three lunches in a row.
And now that we are back, La Bottega’s menu sits in our kitchen inspiring me to search out the best available ingredients and begin to assemble a repertoire of sandwiches that I can recreate at home. So far, I’ve found one product that makes the cut, salamis from Olli Salumeria.