Monthly Archives: May 2018

Eating the Confetti

There’ve been lots of ‘events’ recently. I guess we live our lives through a series of events, rather than moment by moment (well, most of us anyway!)

Hatches, matches and dispatches loom large as significant events for family and friends. Those of us of more ‘mature’ years are kept young–ish by grandchildren, but we probably see more of the dispatches now. We at Probus have sadly recently lost two longstanding members, Bob and Roy – whom we’ll sorely miss.

National events like the Royal wedding this weekend bring us all together for a very short time (especially if the weather’s wonderful, as it was). Lots of positive emotions come to the fore, for a change – though the press always seem to get hold of an angle that’s got an intriguing or sad side – just to spoil the party.

A recent Probus speaker on the History (and the Future) of the Press was very strong on the importance of ethical journalism – and a number of times recently things she said in her talk have chimed with the national news. It just shows how up to date we’re being kept a Probus by our fascinating speakers!

My Italian class were treated to some interesting facts last week, related to the celebration of significant events.
Apparently (obvious with hindsight) confetti is an Italian word (rhymes with spaghetti!), but actually means sweetmeats, via the Old French confectum (as in confectionery etc.), meaning ‘prepared’.

Originally thought to be a Roman delicacy, from the 19th century onwards these small candies/sweets were thrown during carnivals. Obviously the English turned the custom into the throwing of small pieces of paper at weddings or other occasions – much to the chagrin of those responsible for cleaning up afterwards!

Well the Italians haven’t given up on their more colourful practice. Indeed the Medieval city of Sulmona in the Abruzzo region of Italy is the centre of production of small hand-made almond sweets with crisp, colourful sugar coatings – used for a variety of occasions, often fashioned into decorative shapes, usually flowers – as in the photo.

Tasty and works of art too!