Post image for Farewall to nonna Ana / Zbogom noni Ani

Farewall to nonna Ana / Zbogom noni Ani

by Gogo on March 30, 2012

in Various

Yesterday I sent the last goodbye to my grandmother Ana. She had 86 years. I want to remember her like on this picture. With a bottle of Istrian Malvazija in her hand and a plate of grilled anchovies.
nona Ana, sardele i malvazija
Jučer sam se oprostio sa mojom nonom Anom. Imala je 86 godina. Želim je se sjećati kao na ovoj slici. Sa bocom malvazije u ruci i tanjurom sardela na žaru.

Hrvatska verzija

I’m happy that she spent the last moments in her bed and not in a hospital surrounded with strangers. It was a beautiful death.

This woman has deeply influenced my life by connecting me tightly with Istrian soil. She has taught me the “čakavski” dialect, showed me how being in a good company is the best way we can spend our days and that fiesta, laughter and joke is as important as having every day a loaf of bread on the table. Ana was a devoted bon vivant although she had hard working hands, was able to hoe twenty olive trees in a day and managed to spend the whole night in the stall with a sick lamb to save him from death.

If there was no Ana, there wouldn’t be Manjada and I wouldn’t become such a devoted gourmet and winelover. She showed me what is the genuine Istrian food, in other words, I inherited from her a sensory baggage that no book or culinary academy could teach me. I learned how the real Istrian pršut is made so that it remains humid and that it melts in the mouth, what is «first-cut» radicchio, how to make istrian manešta, fuži, pljukanci, njoki… Thanks to her and her olive trees she planted some twenty years ago today I am opsessed with olives and olive oil.

She made me proud when my French and Swiss colleagues, so people who grew up with the best cheeses in the world, have praised her aged sheep cheese begging me to smuggle few in Lausanne where I was doing my PhD studies. They were mentioning authentic “terroir” that can be felt and me, at the time, I didn’t know what they are talking about. For me it was just the cheese of my nonna.

I would give lobsters, caviar and truffles for a plate of her gnocchi with rooster žgvacet (gulasch). Now I admire how she was horrified when she has realized that, while she was away for few days, they fed her hogs with restaurant leftovers or when my uncle dared to use meat-processing machine to cut the meat for kobasice (istrian sausages) instead of doing it as the traditions demands – by hand, using a knife.

Ana, you were stubborn as tovar (donkey), it always had to be as you say. Watch out when you come in front of St. Peter, don’t make him angry! Drink a glass of Malvazija when you settle up, it will do you good. Ćao nona!

A week ago, although she has just came back from the hospital, nonna Ana was singing “Sul ponte di Bassano”, a song that will always remind me of her.

nona Ana u berbi maslina

Drago mi je da je Ana svoje zadnje trenutke provela u svojoj postelji a ne u bolnici okružena nepoznatim ljudima. Bila je to lijepa smrt.

Ta žena duboko je odredila moj život ostavivši mi u naslijeđe neraskidivu vezu sa istarskom zemljom. Naučila me pričati čakavski, pokazala da je druženje s dobrim ljudima najbolji način kako možemo provesti ovaj život, da su fešta, smijeh i šala bitni kao i kruh na stolu. Ana je bila pravi bonvivan iako je imala žuljevite ruke, u jednom danu mogla okopati dvadesetak maslina i cijelu noć provesti u štalici sa bolesnim janjetom da ga spasi od sigurne smrti.

Da nije bilo Ane, Manjade i cijelog tog gurmanluka u mom životu sigurno ne bi bilo. Pokazala mi je što je to iskonska istarska hrana, drugim rijeima ostavila mi je u naslijeđe okusnu prtljagu koju ti ne može prenijeti niti jedna knjiga, niti najbolja kuharska škola. Naučio sam kako se radi istarski pršut tako da bude mokar i da se topi u ustima, što je to radić od prvega taja, kako se dela maneštra, fuži, pljukanci, njoki… Zbog nje i njenih maslina koje je posadila prije dvadesetak godina danas sam opčinjen maslinom i maslinovim uljem.

Učinila me ponosnim kada su mi kolege Francuzi i Švicarci, dakle ljudi odrasli sa najboljim sirevima na svijetu, udijelili panegirike za njen ovčji sir moleći me da im prošvercam par koluta u Lausannu gdje sam bio na doktoratu. Pričali su mi o specifičnom “terroiru” koji se osjeti a ja, u to vrijeme, nisam imao pojma o čemu oni trabunjaju. Za mene je to bio jednostavno nonin sir.

Njene njoke sa šugom od domaćeg pijetla koje sam zadnji put jeo prije pet godina dao bi za sve jastoge, kavijar i tartufe. Sada se s divljenjem sjećam njenih ispada bijesa kad je doznala da su njene prasce par dana dok nje nije bilo hranili sa pomijama iz restorana ili kad je moj ujac meso za istarske kobasice rezao ne kako nalaže tradicija, dakle ručno, s nožem, već s mašinom za mljevenje mesa.

Ana, bila si tvrdoglava ko tovar, uvijek je trebalo biti kako ti kažeš. Pazi se kod Svetog Petra da ga ne naljutiš! Popij si gore koju čašicu malvazije, će ti napraviti dobro. Ćao nona!

Prije tjedan dana, iako se tek bila vratila iz bolnice, nona Ana je pjevala “Sul ponte di Bassano”, pjesmu po kojoj ću je pamtiti.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mare March 30, 2012 at 14:48

prekrasna oda jednoj noni :) . uzivala bi da to cita.

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Gogo April 2, 2012 at 10:54

hvala Mare. prvo sam se dvoumio je li uopće prikladno na enogastronomskom blogu se zahvaljivati noni, ali nisam mogao izdržati. morao sam te emocije izbaciti iz sebe.

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