I love Marta but she’s a bit unusual. For one thing, she’s the size of a hobbit. For another she sounds like the female version of Tattoo from “Fantasy Island.”
So I bring back this big plate of roasted suckling pig and barbecued sheep intestine, offering it around the table (I love the stuff but I can’t eat a quarter of a pig—even a baby pig), and Marta looks at me with doleful eyes and says, “I don’t eat meat.”
Well that’s a problem in Sardinia because meat is big here. You’ve got your suckling pig and roasted lamb, your intestines and donkey sausage, plus the odd kidney or lung. And let’s not forget the luscious cuts of horse.
“There’s a booth over there making pizza,” I told Marta. “You could probably get something there.”
So off Marta went. And returned, looking all triumphant and everything, ten minutes later, with a big aluminum tin of something. She peels back the top and, with a big smile, asks if I’d like to try some of her barbecued eel.
“I thought you were vegetarian?” I said.
“Nope. I said I didn’t eat meat.”
So she digs in to the eel. Pulling back the eel skin to get at the flesh and sucking at the spine to get every last morsel of her roasted lagoon creature. “It’s really good,” she says, licking her lips.
And all I can think is, She doesn’t eat meat?