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Locked down but not out in Italy

Singing from the balconies! One nice thing about this crisis ... solidarity! “Guess you’re not living like a tourist anymore,” was the funny, truthful and somewhat gut-wrenching message of a friend the day the lockdown in Italy began. Today is day 6. My beloved Italia has been hit hard with the COVID19 epidemic. With the second largest elderly population in the world, the epidemic has meant a disproportionate amount of deaths in the country. So though I haven’t been worried about contracting it myself, this isn’t about me or someone like me who, if contracted it would probably have a sucky couple of weeks and then recover. It is about if someone like me contracted it and then spread it to a person with a complicated health history or an elderly person with a weakened immune system. Eerily orderly: Lines for the grocery store, each person one meter apart In a country with no concept (and no physical room really) for personal space, and in a city with reproachable hygie

Minty Goodness

I have always had a thing for mint. Mint flavored almost anything is amazing: gelato (of course), granita (or the Baltimore equivalent- sno-balls), tea, dark chocolate, white chocolate, hot chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate mousse... really any chocolate-mint combination. I add mint syrup to caffe lattes at Starbucks; I add dried mint to tabbouleh, couscous dishes, and many other recipes were it does, and does not, make sense. I adore mojitos... and, truth be told, I can really just eat plain mint leaves.

This is another oddity that I cannot completely blame on being "foreign" nor can I blame it on being American. I once found an astrology book that claimed that Aquarians (of which I am one) have a penchant for mint and chocolate combinations, so perhaps I will blame it on being born in January. Who knows.

However, in my adventures to get to know DC better, I stumbled across a store, and subsequently a groupon for, Schakolad- a chocolate factory in downtown DC. And, low and behold, they sell mint chocolate truffles. I am hooked. Sadly, the groupon was a gift, so I could not stock up on these famously delicious little treats. However, now that I know they exist, I shall make it a point to revisit this minty experience in the near future.

Other exciting mint discoveries:

Georgetown cupcake's daily special for Saturday is a mint cookies & creme cupcake- I have not had it yet, but, oh, I will...

There is a "Three Musketeers" chocolate bar out there that has incorporated mint in it!

And though I have not seen it in a long time, I once found in Canada a Sprite and mint combination, Sprite Ice... maybe we can rally and get it back into production.