Mar 162011

c. 1825 SY

The coarser species which we call pumpkins or gourds, they call cucumbers, cocomeri. Melloni, melons are the bottle-gourd. The word pumpkin, however, answers for the whole tribe. In the south they are all eaten. They seem an experiment on the part of Nature, to turn water into a fruit. Their fresh, red slices, which look as if they were dipt in spring water; and everywhere meet the eye in Italian streets, lying for sale on tables covered with white linen, have a very attractive appearance. But they should be eaten fresh; and foreigners must be cautious how they eat them at all. Newcomers in Italy take great license in matters of eating and drinking, and then wonder that the south [of Europe] does not do them the good they expected. Dinners of macaroni, new wines, and melons, suppers of relishing meats, and sometimes breakfasts with ditto, besides ices and fruits of all sorts between whiles, are sufficient to render the healthiest visitor doubtful of his new country, much more invalids who come on purpose to get health. The fault is laid on the climate. It is said to be too hot in summer; and they are astonished to find a winter. But it is seldom so hot in summer as not to be pleasant within doors; and the winter only becomes formidable from its being unlooked for. (188)

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