Straight-shootin’ Calabrese

by Rudston Steward

wingding 500 x 30 px


rom a hole-in-the-wall in the town of Bova, hovering high above the Ionian Sea in the Aspromonte, the eternally-beaming twin brothers Mimmo and Nino serve up their formidable “lestopittas,” street-food flatbreads baked with an array of palate-scorching chili-based toppings.

Ideally lestopittas are washed down with shots of bergamot-infused grappa, liberally dispensed by Mimmo throughout the day.

The menu is a masterpiece of nomenclature: the Ecodiesel, the Turbo Diesel, the Bi-fuel, the Atomica. And—my favourite—the aptly named “Menefotto” (literally “I-don’t-give-a-damn”) which comes laced with both chili peppers and ‘nduja (the blisteringly hot Calabrian chili pepper and cured meat paste).

The shopfront is covered in signs and graffiti. In pride of place, taped to the front door, is a warning: “Friends are like beans, they talk behind your back.”

For a taste of straight-shootin’ Calabrese chez Mimmo and Nino, listen to the soundbite above…

Translation: Mimmo proclaims that being vegetarian means you eat meat and that being vegan means you eat everything. He then tries to convince us to eat another lestopitta, “a small sweet-n-sour one, with honey, and chili.”

Another customer, while waiting for his Tubbo Disel, informs us in no uncertain terms that Florentine cuisine is no good at all:

“Not even a chicken would eat it. Pappa al pomodoro is just wet bread with tomatoes. Ribollita is just wet bread with vegetables. It’s disgusting! They understand absolutely nothing.”

Take that, Tuscany!


wingding 500 x 30 px