Saturday, April 08, 2006

My New Tuscan Vocabulary

Thanks to Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes, my vocabulary and knowledge has grown a bit. I learnt a completely new word in English that I had never come across before: Xeric. The Merriam Webster Online says:

Main Entry: xe·ric
Pronunciation: 'zir-ik, 'zer-
Function: adjective: characterized by, relating to, or requiring only a small amount of moisture

So I suppose it's a scientific word, which is why it is uncommon.

The other new words are mostly culinary. I discovered:
Sanjeev Kapoor used them to make pesto, which, incidentally, is one more word I learnt here, in a cookery show last week)
  • gelato (ice cream in Italian)
  • pecorino (cheese made from sheep's milk)
  • antipasti (starters)
  • rag├╣ (which seems to be a common preparation, but I still don't know what exactly it means--a curry?)

  • There were lots more, but these are some that stayed in my head.

    Before this book I hadn't heard of Etruscans (they lived in Italy way before the conquering Romans) or even Cortona, and now I feel as if I can walk down the streets there and know what I can expect to see.

    Such literary out-of-body experiences make me marvel at, and be grateful for the concept of writing and books again and again. Even if I never travel outside my country I will still know a little about the lands beyond my reach.

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