It was a bread oven pizza day, a group of friends invited. I tried to provide a variety of toppings; not knowing their favourites, I chose mine. Ham, anchovies, mushrooms, sweet peppers, black olives, Emmenthal and Parmesan cheese, tomato sauce with oregano and garlic. “Where did you get the anchovies?” asked a friend who summers here. “ I bought them,” I replied. Then I realized that’s what most people do. Most people do not have a mother-in-law who supplied them with home-prepared anchovies for so many years, I did not realize one could buy the approximate equivalent. I miss those lovingly prepared jars and the hands that laboured over them.
I well remember the first time I had anchovies. I was 19 years old and had no idea previously that such a thing existed. I was working at a college student staffed conference center and heard others talking about them. They seemed to be a subject of controversy, some deemed them utterly revolting. Nobody could clearly tell me what they were; fishy, strong, were mentioned. On a day off, I took the bus into town and happened to eat in a pizzeria. When I saw anchovies on the menu, I had to find out for myself. I expected something barely tolerable but found them not so extreme, in fact I liked them. Now they have become filled with tradition and family.