Saturday, June 11, 2005

Spalmare, col dito.

My favorite Italian commercial is as follows. In soft filter was an Italian family enjoying a meal. Smiles were being exchanged, plates passed, Nonna dumped dish after dish on the table, eliciting more and more smiles. Smiling and dishes, smiling and dishes.

Finally the camera shot clued the viewer in on the foodstuff on choice. It was Philadelphia cream cheese. These Italians were enjoying it sliced on bread. With tomatoes and possibly basil leaves. I didn’t know that slicing Philly was an approved serving suggestion, or that you could slice cream cheese at all, but there you go. There it was, on my RAI. In America, where the cheese was invented, it has very specific uses, for a schmear, particularly in the northeast, elsewhere, for yucky cheese dips and desserts. I didn’t think the land that gave the world parmigiano reggiano, provolone, mozzarella and gorgonzola would have any need for the stuff in the silver wrapper, until I turned on the television.