Chook! ‘Pollo’! Freshly roasting chicken…I could smell them. Started salivating, followed the nose and there they were! And there too, in front of the van selling chickens directly off the rotisserie, were 17 Italian mamas also hell bent on claiming ‘Pollos’. Not just one, whole rotisserie forks full! And that when the trouble started.

It was ugly. Hair flew! Kids scattered. Tourists dropped their Zeppoles (donut holes). Dogs leapt up and down in the dust adding excited yapping to the cacophony of screeching Italian fishwives and, like a conductor with baton in hand enticing the best from the brass section, the chook cooker waved his empty rotisserie fork. Empty!

Took some time for the scrum to settle as the scowling women, clutching just two chooks each to their heaving breasts, dispersed into the normally peaceful Thursday markets. But why the kerfuffle?

Well it seems cooked chook isn’t as common as an Aussie barbie ‘Coles drive by’ in this neck of the woods. The ‘supermercatos’ don’t stock them and the lone village butcher takes orders a week in advance then delivers the little gems into hands waving tickets on Sunday morning between 10 am and 1pm. I learnt this the hard way. No order, no Pollo. Hmmph!

Today I scored! And you know what? That poor bird had not given up the fight without a serious battle of her own. Small, tough and coated in a golden roasted skin. Actually she reminded me of…

Meanwhile, a lovely collage of fishing nets I found piled in a little corner of the village.