The anchovies tasted like crackers with a hint of fish. They were not at all oily and fishy like those things in tins swimming in oil that we buy from the grocery store. These were freshly caught in nets being repaired by the ancient men of Burano preparing for the next day of fishing. My plate sat on a doily made by grandmothers and great-grandmothers whose fingers were still nimble at 90.
Just 3 hours before I had watched a glassblower on Murano create the wine glass in my hand filled with new wine. It still crackled.
The anchovies lay on on nice salad picked fresh from a Venetian garden close by. I had my meal while perched on a fishing boat with layers of paint as thick as my thumb. The lagoon lapped in front of me and I felt a slight sea breeze from the Mediterranean. My meal was spiced with humanity from Murano, Burano and Torcello: 3 beautiful islands near Venice, each with its specialty glass, fish, and lace. Dining doesn’t get any better.
Diane Hoover Bechtler lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, Michael Gross who is a poet with a day job and with their cat, Call Me IshMeow.