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Feb 27, 2012 06:13 PM

Saltimbocca for Leap Day

As a way of getting through the winter months, I've been taking just about any excuse to add some festivity or levity to the season. Fortunately, there's a lot of ethnic holidays that involve food around this time (Asian New Year's celebrations, I'm looking at you), and this past year involved "Mulligan New Year" (a do-over on Feb 1st, which conveniently took advantage of post-holiday champagne sales!).

So for Leap Day, I'm trying to think of something that could become a food related tradition. There's not much that I can find about official Leap Day recognition, other than it being "St. Oswald's Day" (is he only 1/4 of a saint?). However, Catholics, especially Italians, can start an international food-based religious holiday at the drop of a Virgin-shaped gravy stained napkin, and I think a Mediterranean turn might be just the thing after a Far East culinary focus.

Fortunately, Italy seems to have created something particularly suited to the occasion -- saltimbocca, which literally means "leaps into the mouth". Frankly, other than hoppin' John, I can't think of any other food with the words "jump" or "leap" in it, and how can you go wrong in the winter months with all that delicious pork (and Marsala, for my taste)? I think I'll call it "Dia de saltimbocca".

So anyway, that's my seed crystal of an idea for a new food tradition on Leap Day. Et tu? I suppose there's always some Scandanavian holiday that shares its name with an IKEA end table that finds "Sven" eating ludafisk and cursing the cold darkness...

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  1. How about the Chinese dish "Buddha Jumps Over the Wall"?

    1. I do like the idea of saltimbocca on leap year, although pretty much any saute or even the so-called "Jumping Salad" would also fit.

      1. How about frog legs and chocolate covered grasshoppers?