April 3, 2013

Pizza and Paulaner: Celebrating the Feast of San Francesco di Paola

"LITE FARE" — Soppressata, caciocavallo, olives, 'nduja, pizza and beer
(Photo by New York Scugnizzo)
By Giovanni di Napoli

In addition to the obligatory Lenten dietary restrictions (no meat on Fridays, etc.) members of my family usually give up one or two additional things for Lent. Customarily for me its macaroni (the food I love most in the world). This year I also gave up beer. Admittedly, I don't drink a lot of beer, but I do enjoy an occasional pint every now and again, especially when I have pizza. 
Last night some friends and I got together to celebrate the Feast of San Francesco di Paola. It was nothing extravagant, just a small gathering with some lite fare. I thought it would be apropos that my first beer since beginning my abstention was in honor of the holy man. However, it could not just be any beer, it had to be Paulaner bier from Munich. Reputedly, the monks who started making this most excellent brew in 1634 to support their charities were members of the Order of Minim founded by Saint Francis. Apparently, Paulaner is a corruption of Paola, the town in Calabria where Saint Francis was born.

Evviva San Francesco!