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Buddy’s Blog 07/30/15

To all aficionados of the offal or fifth quarter culinary tradition, the popular Roman “pajata” which is made from the intestines of a very young calf, has returned to Italian menus. This, after the European Union lifted the ban imposed in 2001 at the height of mad cow disease.

This ruling was hailed by chefs throughout Rome’s famed Testaccio district as patrons began ordering this century old offering. Pajata is usually eaten with rigatoni pasta in a red sauce. The cleaned and skinned intestines are cut into small pieces with the mother’s milk inside. A trip to the old slaughter house or Testaccio area is well worth the visit to those traveling to Rome.

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I love Italy. It is obvious. I am fiercely proud of my heritage and culture, but this past week the Italian Court of Cassation ruled on an issue that has me scratching my head in wonderment. It seems that the court decided it is no longer necessary to undergo a sex change procedure in order to change your gender legally.

The ruling was made at the conclusion of an appeal on behalf of a 45 year old transgender male, who in 1999 received permission to have a sex change operation but then decided not to. Hormonal therapy and physical modifications were sufficient.

This opens up a myriad of issues and a redefinition, in Italy, of what constitutes a male and a female. This decision, as I interpret it, has pronounced there is no real physical difference between a male and female. Allow me to loudly declare, “Viva la differenza!”



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