Saturday, April 4, 2009

Italian Swiss is Lombardian

We've covered this area a number of times, but not specifically. Anything "Italian Swiss," or "Svizzera Italiana," is from the Lombardian culture. In other words, any time we hear it, it's in reference to our culture. Our people.

In rural areas, the Lombard dialect can be spoken without any stigma, as there is in Italy. A time, not really long ago, everyone in Lombardia and Lombardian Switzerland spoke the Lombard dialect. Actually, it's the Lombard language, with a Western Lombard dialect.

On the Wikipedia webpage called "Linguistic geography of Switzerland," we can see maps of the language distribution of Switzerland. We can see the canton of Ticino, and east of it the canton of Graubünden (Grigioni). Three separate southernly parts of Graubünden speak the Lombard language. In Graubünden, an ancient form of Latin called "Romansh" is spoken, as it is in certain parts of northeast Italy. This language goes back to the Roman province of Raetia, which encompassed a part of what is now northeast Italy and up to Bavaria and Swabia. We can cover this subject at a later time.

Ticinese is the language, people, and culture of Ticino. In this video, people in Ticino are asked what language they speak? Only the second to the last woman seems to mention "Lombardo" as her language.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Swiss Chard Bruscetta

Someone from the Pacific Coast Farmer's Market Association gave me this recipe this morning, so I thought I might add it here, as it appears to be of basically Ticinese origin (modified with the feta).

Swiss Chard Bruscetta

* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 8 ounces Swiss chard, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
* 2 tablespoons water
* Salt and pepper
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
* 6 slices French bread, cut diagonally 3/4-inch thick, toasted
* 1/2 cup torn arugula or small arugula leaves
* 2 ounces garlic-and-herb feta cheese or plain feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)

In a large skillet or wok heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil; stir-fry Swiss chard over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add water and cook 2 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine the 1 tablespoon oil and the vinegar, set aside. To serve, divide chard among the pieces of toast. Drizzle with the oil-and-vinegar mixture. Top with arugula and feta cheese. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 side-dish servings.

Pacific Coast Farmer's Market Association
5056 Commercial Circle, Suite E
Concord, CA 94520