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AMARCORD / Attualità Pitagora e le fave

Pitagora (pitagoraedintorni.blogspot.com)

Pitagora (pitagoraedintorni.blogspot.com)

È famosa la ripulsa di Pitagora di Samo per le fave. La religione fondata dal filosofo greco (seconda metà del VI secolo a. C.) ne proclamava la peccaminosità. Alla gente, però, quelle leguminose piacevano; pertanto, il successo pitagoriano non fu davvero strepitoso; quasi tutti si ribellarono e le fave continuarono a frequentare le mense domestiche.

Non si sa bene perché Pitagora predicasse l’astensione da questo cibo; forse ci entravano misteriosi motivi igienico-sanitari. Oppure l’uomo di Samo seguiva il comportamento degli antichi egizi, che non seminavano la fava e non la toccavano; i loro sacerdoti, per di più, non la guardavano nemmeno.

Perché? Mah, alcuni sostengono che mettessero loro paura le macchie nere a forma di T dei fiori della fava; i greci, poi, le avrebbero tenute in timoroso riguardo perché la T è l’iniziale di Thanatos, morte. È vero che la fava si offriva a Plutone dio degli Inferi, Proserpina sua moglie e alle Parche, crudeli arbitre del destino degli uomini. Quindi era un’offerta funebre, su questo non ci piove.

Altro collegamento delle fave con l’al di là: il legume si mangiava nelle merende che si usavano un tempo tra i parenti del defunto subito dopo il funerale.

 

Orazio (Wikipedia)

Orazio (Wikipedia)

Come che sia, il creatore delle tabelline si tirò addosso il sarcasmo di Orazio per questa storia delle fave. Nella satira VI del secondo libro, appunto delle Satire (è quella che comincia con il famoso: hoc erat in votis = era proprio questo il mio sogno), il poeta di Venosa, a un certo punto sbotta:

 

O amata campagna, quando mai ti vedrò e, felice,

mi sarà concesso dimenticare questa vita affannosa,

rileggendo i miei classici o lasciandomi andare nell’ozio

e nel dolce far niente? Quando mi serviranno in tavola

un bel piatto di fave, che Pitagora ama come parenti,

e legumi conditi a dovere col lardo? …[1]

 

I lontani parenti di Orazio, i capitolini di oggi, più devoti a lui che al saggio greco, sono sempre ben contenti di farsi un piatto di fave col guanciale alla romana. Ma a proposito dell’accoppiata fava-morte attenzione che  sono tutt’altra faccenda le fave dei morti, suggerite dal mitico Artusi [2].

Si badi bene, si tratta di un dolce tipico dell’Umbria; le fave non si vedono nemmeno di lontano. Lo fanno, ai primi di novembre, con farina, zucchero, mandorle, burro, uova, scorza di limone e il nome lo si deve solo alla rassomiglianza del dolcetto con la fava.

 

Molte le espressioni e i detti nostrani imperniati sulla fava: la fà(v)a ngréccia è la fava secca; è ‘na fà(v)a che nun se còce vuol dire che quel che si spera non si realizzerà; la fà(v)a è fà(v)a, cume la fàghi è bbòna è una chiara risposta alle manie di Pitagora; infine, nzugnà’ la fà(v)a brùsca significa fare un brutto sogno.

 

 

[1] Satire, II, VI, vv. 60-65. Nel suo commento alla traduzione di Gavino Manca delle satire oraziane (Einaudi, Milano 1992, p. 170) Carlo Carena scrive: L’interdizione di Pitagora di mangiar fave non era ben spiegata già dagli antichi. A Roma erano associate al culto dei morti e secondo Plinio, “Naturalis Historia”, 18.II8, si credeva vi dimorassero le anime dei trapassati. Pitagora se ne sarebbe dunque astenuto per le stesse ragioni per cui si asteneva dalle carni di animali, credendo alla metempsicosi. Orazio irride, con i suoi sospiri invece verso un bel piatto di rustiche fave, alla disciplina pitagorica.

[2] Pellegrino Artusi. La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene, Firenze, Landi, 1891, pp. 327/328.

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