They don't look all that exciting, do they? But, little did you know that these somewhat bitter "lampasciuoli" (no known translation) are a historically famous and powerful aphrodisiac! May I quote the Latin poet Marziale (I sec. d.C.) who said, "if your wife is old, your member is dead, nothing but these bulbs will satisfy you..." Or the learned Greek philosopher Ateneo (II – III sec. d.C.) who claimed, "lobsters, bulbs, snails...if anyone can find stronger medicine that these..." During the Middle Ages they were a cheap source of food. They are now cultivated primarily in the Puglia region, though they still grow wild throughout the eastern Mediterranean. They are said to have diuretic qualities and are eaten raw, boiled, grilled, fried, or preserved in oil. Here's a recipe...try them, you never know!
The lampasciouli were for sale at the same little shop as yesterday's snails. Here's a shot of the shop's interior. The chair in the foreground is where the grandmother sits, but she ran away saying, "no, no, I'll ruin the photo!" Too bad...
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