Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Cheese That Isn't A Cheese

In the mirror this morning I noticed that my forehead is paler than my cheeks and that my neck is darker than my head. This is due to my new habit of wearing a hat most of the time ("A strange doctor's hat!", Serena called it). The resulting tan gradient means I look like I'm being lit from above - like in film noir.

"Do you still lobotomise people and use electric shocks?", me being mischievous.
"Only English and American doctors ever did this!", Serena exhaltant.
"And South American Presidents?"
I'm awarded a begrudging chuckle.

It all started innocently enough with a discussion on the contents of a gozleme - a sort of cross between a crepe and a chapati.
"There's definitely spinach and some kind of herby thing, probably corriander", I pronounced "but what's this white stuff?"
"Ah yes, ricotta cheese"
"Ricotta is not cheese"
"Sure is. It's called ricotta cheese."
"My grandparents are from Venice and Scotland! Ricotta is not cheese."
I asked the Turkish lady who'd made the gozleme.
"Yes, ricotta cheese", she stated.
"She doesn't know", muttered Serena.
We argued back and forth about the process of making ricotta and such matters for the rest of the morning.

Later, we went to Gianni's Cafe by the docks for coffee.
Gianni is an ebullient Italian who retired here last year to bring his idea of coffee to Turkey.
"I will give you my cappaccino con amore!", he boomed.
We both sensed a possibly decisive ally in the Riccotta War.
When he returned with coffee, I started into him with an admittedly leading question.
"So, ricotta cheese is cheese, right?"
Serena straightened and focused.
"Yes, from Italia!", happily nodded Gianni.
"But in Italia it IS NOT cheese! It is something different. Tell him!", warned Serena.
Gianni blinked and stepped back shrugging. I sensed he was buckling.
"Well, there's cheese...", he extended his right hand, "and there's ricotta...", left hand out.
"Hah!", Serena crossed her arms. Gianni took the chance to retreat.
After coffee, I admitted she had won the Ricotta War. "But we won The Falklands War!"
A tight smile. "It is not The Falklands. Las Malvinas! Their name is Las Malvinas!"


  1. time for some serious history: Las Malvinas is a direct translation for Les Malouins, or otherwise known as the sailors from Saint Malo, a port on the northeastern coast of Brittany (close to the Mont Saint Michel) in France. So it is French me hardies! Or Breton for those wishing to be difficult!
    However it apparently belongs to Uruguay and by some weird magical stroke is now claimed by Argentina. Go figure!

  2. mmm.. Did you know until 1830 Uruguay was a province of Argentina?

  3. It's the first thing we learn in History class at school!