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The word convivio is derived from the Latin term convivere, which means to live together. However, the Italian sense of it speaks specifically to eating together with great enjoyment and pleasure.

The English-language has no exact translation for the word convivio. Although ‘convivial’ could possibly be similar to it, it’s still lacking the passion that the Italians send off their lips when they say “convivio!”

See, convivio is the unmistakable impression of the Italian style of hospitality which is undoubtedly centered on the pleasure of good food, good wine, family, and friends. You may have noticed in many “Italian subject matter” films that this is often portrayed by a large group of people sitting around a long table, talking and gesturing passionately as they share dishes amongst one another, passing the food, pouring the wine, and breaking the bread.

In my family, my father always began special occasion meals by praying and then saying something like “easy on the butter, it’s $2.00 a pound.”  And then (after he stopped laughing) he’d say something like “dig in!” My guess is that he did this to make friends and guests feel at home and to enjoy themselves! A good sense of humor is a necessity in life.

When you entertain others in your home, it is very important that they feel relaxed and enjoy themselves. Convivio is not about elegant tablecloths, fine china, the finest sterling silverware, crystal glasses, etc. But what it is about is taking pleasure in being surrounded by people you love and care for. It is the antithesis of eating out; especially fast food, which quite sadly has become the American innovation.

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Not to toot my own horn, but Italians do make superb hosts. We want our friends and family to keep coming back and just as in the restaurant business, convivio is requisite to the success. People will not return where they do not feel comfortable, it’s that simple.

Once you’ve experienced convivio, you’ll fall in love. Go ahead, try it out. Plan a ME-gan dinner soirée with those you love and who are nearest and dearest to you. Not only will they share in the great conversation and laughter, but they’ll appreciate the deliciously healthy food that you’ve prepared for them. This says so much more than words ever could, that you care about them and want them to stay healthy. There’s no convivio without them!

Convivio to all, love…

Mary

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