The emigrant’s luggage still holds the function it used to have when it was made out of cardboard, held closed with twine and no one at the gate of the transatlantic checked that they had just one piece of luggage, because they did not pay for priority! The emigrant’s luggage is filled with pieces of home that will make the leaving less traumatic and will bring comfort in those moments of homesickness. Because we all agree that nothing is more comforting than a nice bowl of pasta, it will come as no surprise that the emigrant’s luggage is often filled with food!
Here is a list of the victuals that found a spot in my bag after the Christmas break. I shall warn you, it is representative but by no means complete.
- Pasta, obviously. The lack of variety in the pasta aisle of British supermarkets breaks my pastafarian heart. In this cruel world of spag-bol, I rebel by filling my luggage with trofie, spaghetti alla chitarra and bucatini. On top of these more exotic shapes, I also carried spaghetti and linguine Garofalo, which, I admit, I can find also in London, but they were so much cheaper in Milan, it would have been rude not to.
- Cured meats. Prosciutto crudo holds a priority spot in the emigrant’s luggage. It’s always purchased fresh from a butcher, packed airtight and it brings me pure joy in those grey days when I bring it as my packed lunch in the office.
- Passata Mutti. It’s, in my opinion, the yummiest on the market and I have never seen it in a British shop, so whenever I travel with a fancy checked baggage I bring a couple of cans.
- An assortment of other edibles that I cannot find in the UK and that, as soon as I see them on the shop shelf, I need to taste them again, that very moment. If you ever find yourself wandering in an Italian supermarket, pay attention to Più Gusto crisps, or the vast biscuits line by Mulino Bianco, which are the main part of many Italian breakfasts.
A month after Christmas, the stock of Italian groceries is greatly depleted. There won’t be an trip to Italy until May so, until then, my lunches and breakfasts will be sad!