SUMMER ISSUE 2022
It’s a Dog’s World
by Rita Simonetta
Visit any Italian-Canadian neighbourhood this summer and you’ll find tons of four-legged companions. That’s reflective of what’s happening all across a country that’s fallen in love with its furry friends. According to polling firm Abacus Data, 32% of Canadians own a dog.
Mattea Settino is one of them. The Woodbridge, Ontario resident has a female Havanese Bichon with whom she shares a unique bond. “I think that dogs can sense when something isn’t right; when someone in the house is acting different, the dog’s mood changes based on that individual,” says Settino.
I have never met an Italian beach I didn’t like. Naturally, there are certain stunning stretches of coastline that stand out in my mind more than others but, the truth is, I delight in the experience and reap all the benefits of unencumbered beach time regardless of which shore I find myself on.
That magical combination of sunshine, the hypnotic sound of the waves, the warm sand underfoot, the blissful sensation of immersing myself into the Mediterranean waters and that inevitable salty taste my lips have after a glorious swim make Summer Sil comes alive.
She is in her element. It’s almost like a life-enhancing oxygen, which inevitably helps me relax, reset and reconnect with my joy again, that is until another Canadian winter challenges my resiliency and puts me back in survival mode. Naturally, I then start thinking about the Caribbean. Overall though, Italian beaches have that something ‘extra’ about them. I know I am not alone in this calling for the spiaggia italiana. It resonates with many, the only difference perhaps is having a preference for a particular sea or area over another.
It’s hard enough to accept not qualifying for two World Cups in a row, especially after just winning the European Cup this past summer. Losing in the first game of a potential two-game playoff gauntlet to North Macedonia is even worse. But the fact that Italy was even involved in this playoff in the first place was the hardest pill to swallow. Why though? Well, when your main penalty taker misses two—not one, but two—penalty kicks that would have guaranteed qualification several months prior, it’s easy to get extra peeved.
Of course, it’s much easier to blame one person than just the system. It’s even easier because in October, Roberto Mancini’s men strung together 30 wins and seven draws between Nations League, European Championship qualifiers, World Cup qualifiers, UEFA EURO 2020 tournament fixtures and friendlies, setting an all-time world record of 37 games unbeaten. So when you look at that record, and a Euro Cup, it’s hard to believe that we missed out again because of two missed penalties.
Nevertheless, blame could also be put on the many strikers who failed to score against Austria, Northern Ireland and North Macedonia. Also, on coach Roberto Mancini for not switching enough, changing game plans and relying on the old guard to get them through. We could easily blame the entire system in Italian Football. Only four teams in Serie A currently own their own stadium, which limit revenue streams. All of the new American and foreign owners are being stifled by the bureaucracy and the political back-channeling of the Italian game.
This orange and fennel salad is a fresh, colourful starter perfect for hot summer months.
The mix of soft and crunchy textures and sweet and sour flavours of this dish make it so attractive. Add a few black olives for an additional briny taste and a few drops of white balsamic vinegar to liven up the fennel’s licorice flavour. As with every simple recipe, success lies in the details. Carefully slice your ingredients, making sure to balance them out in the plate for a nice presentation. This salad also makes an interesting main course when combined with ricotta salata or a beautiful side dish with some seared tuna.