As I was scanning my facebook feed this morning, I found an unexpected and sad announcement that a former vox-neighbor and blogger-friend, Paolo Presta, had died.

Paolo was an Italian who lived near Toronto and wrote the blog “How We Eat”. He was a vibrant advocate of slow food and healthy eating. Though most of his posts were joyful explorations of eating, cooking and the wonderful camaraderie that can only be found over a table, he was also a staunch human rights advocate and could never seem to understand why people were driven to oppress those that were “different” than themselves. Sometimes, he even wrote a Friday Drabble.

I didn’t know him particularly well — he was an intermittent writer and was ill for much of the last year or so — but I always enjoyed his posts and comments because they always seemed completely heartfelt and unscripted. Looking back at his blog, the following was from his first post:


I seem to have a way of finding good food where ever I go.  I always want to know about the food I eat, not only how it was prepared but the history of the recipe and the ingredients. I want to know about this history before it fades away to our fast, convenience desired national habit. I will be going to where the vegetables are grown and speaking to those that grow them.  I will also be speaking with cooks, some professional some not, about what and why they cook… I don’t know where this journey will take me but I hope you will go along for the ride.

As ways to spend your time go, you could do a lot worse.

I stopped at the farmer’s market the other day and on the spur of the moment picked up some gorgeous, ripe figs. That was the day he died and I was surprised today to see that his blog’s banner has a beautiful sliced fig.

So tonight, I think we’ll grill those figs and have a good red wine and think of friends that you never met, but were a part of your life anyway.


14 thoughts on “Paolo

  1. Wow, how terrible. I visited his blog briefly as well. Very sad, but I’m sure he’d be honored by your lovely tribute, Steve.

  2. I am really sorry to know this, Steve. Paolo seems to have enjoyed life to the full and passed on his love for food to his friends. Hope he is happy wherever he is now.

  3. Very nice tribute Steve. You made me cry and I had never even heard of Paolo.
    Next spring I will have to remember to take a picture for you of the fig tree in my neighbor’s yard. It is huge. My sister loves figs and the great outdoors and she says it is by far the biggest fig tree she has ever seen.

  4. When “blog friends” (people we know through blogging but who we have never met) pass away, it’s always strange. Their blog just sort of hangs there, with no conclusion. We feel loss but it’s usually hard to reach out in any tangible way (flowers, card, etc.). Your tribute was a lovely way of honoring his memory.

  5. How sad to learn of this. I had a similar experience with FOrmer Voxer Hailiku. I was soo soo saddened by his passing. It is amazing how someone you never met in person can so affect one’s life…

  6. I wonder why I did not leave a comment when I ‘liked’ the post. I do wonder what happens when online friendships ‘die’. What a strange (and wonderful) world in which we live.
    This was a nice tribute to Paolo, Steve. I am certain he would have enjoyed it. Perhaps he would have read it while preparing his next meal.

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