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PAGE 4 POST-GAZETTE, JUNE 16, 2017 L'Anno Bello: A Year in Italian Folklore Sweet Summer Fruits by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz Ah, summer -- the time of vivid sunshine, warm breezes, and days spent relaxing at the beach. It is also the time when I crave fresh fruit the most. The early summer crop of June boasts some of the juiciest, most succulent fruit around. What constitutes summer if not a big bite out of a fire-engine red watermelon, its pulp disin- tegrating into a sweet and re- freshing drink? What else can brighten June mornings like a pile of gem-hued strawberries artfully scattered over cereal or pancakes? What about the clinldng of ice cubes floating in a glass of peach or cherry juice -- doesn't the mere thought of such a drink bring relief on a stiflingly humid day? Yes, summer fruits have always ap- pealed to me, wh/ch is why I was both delighted and surprised to find that they contain a wealth of folklore and superstitions woven between their stems and vines. So let us embark on a journey of taste and the sort of lore that has been handed down from our ancestors, originating from the days when agriculture formed the backbone of almost every society. 11 Cherries: I love to bake with cherries. Their tartness perfectly accentuates sweet cakes and muffins. On Memo- rial Day, I even made a fruit crisp with a blend of peaches and cherries, and it was simply sublime. If people loved cher- ries so much that they wanted to guarantee a good crop of them, a Swiss superstition states that the first cherry of a tree must be eaten by a wom- an who recently gave birth to her first child -- hopefully, the woman's fertility would rub off on the tree and ensure a plethora of fruit for the next harvest. Meanwhile, Italian au- thor Andrea Malossim asserts that it is lucky to find a twin cherry, or two cherries sharing a single stem. Another Italian proverb states "Giugno ciliege a pugno," meaning that June has abundance of cherries! 21 Strawberries: Did you happen to notice the full moon on June If you did indeed catch a glimpse of the moon, you would have seen what is called the Full Strawberry Moon. The Algonquin tribes knew June's full moon as such because it coincided with the time that strawberries were ripe for gath- ering. A quaint legend states that if a person breaks a double strawberry (two strawberries that somehow grew together in one) in half and shared it with Real Estate Matt6o Gallo Appraisals Sales & Rentals 376 North Street * Boston, MA 02113 (617) 523-2100 * Fax (617) 523-3530 Se,ugee Public Insurance Adjuster Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS AUTO * HOMEOWNERS " TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Free Parking Adjacent to Building another person, the two would be destined to fall in love. There is still some debate about how strawberries got their name. One version states that the little yellow seeds resembled flecks of straw, while another popular theory declares that the shoots of the plant would often be dispersed around the ground, leading the fruit to develop a name that derives from the Anglo-Saxon word for "strewn." In Italy, strawberries are known as fTagole and grow wild. They are enjoyed scat- tered over panna cotta or mari- nated in balsamic syrup. 3) Peaches: Peaches are ex- cellent in juices, in pies, and just plain cut up in delectable slices. I know it is summer when I can smell peaches in the air. It was once believed that eating a peach would impart wisdom. They are also thought to bring longevity and keep evil spirits at bay -- not bad for a fruit found readily in super- markets everywhere[ In China, the country to which the fruit is native, peaches are closely associated with immortality and divinity. This is because the blossoms of the peach tree appear before the leaves do, an unusual occurrence. As such, the Chinese will often adorn doorways and gates with peach wood to drive away malevolent forces and attract good luck. In Italy, peach, or pesca, is a popular flavor for marmalades, jams and pastries. 4J Melons: Yes, watermelons are the qu/ntessenfia/stunmer- t/me fruit for us in the United States, emblems of relaxation and hot weather. However, among the Romani people of the Balkans, watermelons have a far stranger connotation -- vampires! According to folklore, a watermelon left alone at night on the fullmoon has the poten- tial to turn into a vampire, roll- ing around and scaring towns- people. The full moon also features in an Italian super- stition about melons. Andrea Malossini writes that melons grow fatter and fuller if planted under the full moon in March. Perhaps the hope is that they will grow to resemble the moon! For me, summer always meant my father brknging home and brealdng open a fresh can- taloupe from an Italian market, revealing the sunny orange h ue within. How I love these summer meloni! So there you go, a sweet bevy of fruit folklore and supersti- tion. Hopefully this adds more curiosity and wonder to your enjoyment of Earth's bounty during the summer months. Enjoy a season of fresh fruit and healthy eating -- but please, keep an eye on any mel- ons left out overnight[ Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz is a Graduate Student in History at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She appreciates any comments and suggestions about Italian holidays and folklore at adicenso89 @gmail.corn I DIAMONDS 1 ROLEX ESTATE JEWELRY Bought & Sold Jewelers Exch. Bldg. Jim (617) 263-7766 / ! by Sal Giarratani Why Shouldn't Her Name Be Reality Winner? Recently one morning, I woke up and remembered the dream I just had. I remembered run- ning through endless path- ways in the woods, climbing rocks, stepping into a stream, and then having to enter a tall house and run up four flights of stairs. I couldn't remember why I did all that, but sitting up in bed, I was quite tired from all my dreaming activity. I swear when I got out of bed both my legs were sore from all that strenuous activity. Then I realized the thin line between fantasy and reality. Funny thing, ever since Trump became president back on Jan- uary 20% sometimes I think I am trapped in a weird dream. I keep expecting to wake up, but I am starting to realize I am already awake. This is real. Listen, I finally ended up vot- ing for Donald Trump because the other choice available was not for me. I had no alterna- tive. Here we are in June jump- ing from crisis to crisis. I have come to hate tweets, especially from a president. He keeps get- ting deeper into to trouble with each tweet. It's quite difficult lately to know what is real and what fantasy-based fake news is. We have the onslaught of fake bombs going off back and forth between the &It-Left and tlae A/t-Right. So much craziness makes me long for the old days of the Watergate scandal, where at least the players were easy to tell apart. We had a tape, we had the Ellsberg Papers, and we had Deep Throat. But, we didn't have those fakers over on MSNBC. The Air-Left has been ob- sessed with the Russians, Putin, collusion, endless inves- tigations, special prosecutors, and James Comey; the end never seems near. By the time you are reading this, either James Comey is a cross between Howard Dean and Deep Throat, or it was all just a bunch of fake news nonsense. I have never seen such an endless attempt to overturn an election. Whether you like the guy or not, his opponents have never given him a chance. I truly believe they would rather see him fail than America win. Then, out of the blue last week, there's a whole new story to digest. It appears an analyst working as a contrac- tor for the NSA with top secu- rity clearance decides to copy NSA classified information and mail it off to a Leak Site. Her name, and I kid you not, is Reality Winner. You can't make this stuff up if you tried. Ap-- parently, she has gone on her own Facebook page calling the President of the United States a P.O.S. There are few, if any, lines not crossed anymore. Crossing over a bridge on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester recently, I thought I saw an injured bird flapping arourld-rlelplessly in the road ahead. Turns out it was a small American flag getting run over by endless auto traffic. I saw it as a metaphor for how helpless America has been looking late- ly. People are so angry, unable to speak with one another, and aimlessly taking America down a road that doesn't look that great at all. Dearest Freeway! You are such a busy man about town that I haven't had the opportunity to tell you how much we love you and appreciate you ... and what better day to take the time than your 18t" birthday! How quickly those years have passed. We are lucky to have you for so many reasons, but I will just mention two. First, you bring out the best in your "person." You show us Marie's soft side and make it easy to love her! And, second, your work for the community and our group in particular, the Sorrentino Stompers, has a huge effect on so many people. Your hard .work, patience, and loyalty are something many people should emulate] Thank you for all you bring to our lives, the happiness, integrity, and companionship for our friend! Happy birthday[ Enjoy[ We love you! Sincerely, Jennifer Burke Grehan and the Sorrentino Stompers