Lost in Amalfi I – Grapes

Amalfi, the most wondrous coast in all the world, maybe. With strange, stucco structures stuck on the side of a cliff and a great expanse of sea before you, it’s easy to get lost in this magical, otherworldly kingdom.
And that’s just what happened. I got lost. So lost, in fact, that I couldn’t find the accommodations which were definitely booked in advance.

Instead, look at the weird way they grow grapes! I live on the southwesternest horn of my nation. My home is perched on the edge of my little world, a world where grapes are grown in excess. They grow so many grapes around here, they can’t eat them quickly enough. Many would go to waste if they didn’t take the rotten grapes and juice them into wine.

Anyway, they grow grapes differently. Here, they’re grown in parallel lines, but in weird, bizarro land Amalfi, Italy, they wrap the vines around poles and let them grow in grids, like canopies. Which way is better? Which way harvests more grapes? I have no idea, I’m not a farmer.
If you were to arrive in Amalfi, late at night, under the cover of darkness, homeless, you might look at these vine canopies and consider them apt for, well, an apt (or apartment). They do certainly have the appearance of something one might imagine would be shelter.
I shouldn’t complain, these vines were a quiet refuge during a long, warm night. My issue was the hot, blistering sun in the morning peeking through the leaves, burning into my eyes through my eyelids.
The grapes in Amalfi taste a little different from local, homegrown grapes. This is because their grapes aren’t ripe yet.

Waking up too early, the heat of Italy cranking up, the sun in my poor, tired eyes, I was hungry and thirsty. Good news, I thought, grapes!

Some of you foodies, like me, will have heard of “verjus”. It’s the juicing of unripe grapes which can be used in cooking for an almost citrusy, apple-ish flavour. This may be a delicious addition to a fresh salad or some seafood, it even pairs well with some cooking wines (like babies and the elderly), but to eat them straight off the vine… brutal.

Unripe grapes are like the reverse of a regrettable relationship. Something that, one day, will be so sweet is sour, harsh and horrible. Even the texture on my lips and tongue was vile. The taste, almost unbearable. Exactly how it is when remembering the kiss of a woman you gave yourself to in error.

I shat seeds.
Was the first night in Amalfi a success? No, but was it the worse night in Amalfi? Yes, but was it the only night in Amalfi? Yes! And was it the worst night in Italy? No. Did I like being homeless? Not at all. Why am I asking you these questions and then just answering them myself? Who knows? Don’t answer a question with a question. Sorry.

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