I may or may not have been down to the markets today to visit the man who runs a wonderful salami stall; he offers salamii (that’s the plural) of goose, duck, venison, and pig. This man has taught me that the original salami were loaf-shaped, like baby cheeses, and the familiar linked sausage format is an innovation. What’s for certain is that I bought from him a plump, nipple-ended salami powdered in white rice flour which he says is called ‘the little baby Jesus.’
He cradled it in both hands and rocked it a little, to show me. I had on my Dad’s pyjamas under my jeans and was only waiting to get home to get really, truly comfortable.
After that I may or may not have suggested to him, Hey! You should make a nativity scene on your stall every year – and have The Little Baby Jesus as your Jesus.
I would, the man said. He was rueful. I would love to. It’s just that – some people might get offended.
I was crooning over my plump swaddled baby, sniffing its pungent head. “Offended?”