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Who will get the pope's nose?

Monte Rio
Nov. 22, 2012

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Years ago, after my grandfather had died, my grandmother would often bring friends from Long Beach to our holiday meals in Pasadena. One of these was Nellie, an ancient dowager who lived in the mildly historic Villa Riviera apartment building overlooking the Pacific. Once, as my dad began to carve the turkey, Nellie asked if she could have the pope's nose. Confused looks all around. She explained that was her family's name for the little triangular flap of fat that was part of the bird's tail, and that covers the hole where you stuff the dressing in. She explained that it was the sweetest and crispiest part of the bird.

She didn't explain how it came to have that name.