Ah, a refreshing pear in the summer heat, watching the end of the Olympics and dreaming of a super fit body and one of those six pack abs that those women runners sported with such nonchalance! Unfortunately, every time I pick up a pear a lot of annoying Italian references come to mind:
1) Pinocchio who peels three pears and then, still hungry, eats the peeled skins. Reading Pinocchio was compulsory in school, and it's such a scary story, I still have nightmares about him burning his feet.
2) The Italian saying: "Al contadino non far sapere quant'è buono il formaggio con le pere" = "Don't let the farmer know how good it is to eat cheese and pears together", that my mum and grandma used to repeat at the end of every dinner. They were right, by the way, pears and cheese is a very good match.
3) And, the most highbrow of all, my grandad's favourite quote: "Pera colui che prima osò la mano
armata alzar su l’innocente agnella", from the Italian poet Parini. Of course the word "pera" here means "to perish" and not "pear", the translation being: "The first man who dared raise his armed hand against the innocent lamb should perish". Now, all of these disturbing memories should perish too, so that I can eat the other half of my pear in peace. Do you have that experience? When history stands in the way of spontaneous appreciation? Poor pear, sweet and innocent like Parini's lamb.