Italy: Where even the peasants eat well..

31 Oct

Extract from a book,La Cucina Tradizionale Veneta by Dino Coltro, who grew up near Venice :

“For breakfast we had polenta, then held on from noon until one or even two in the afternoon and had more polenta, and polenta again in the evening, or perhaps bigoloto (a kind of pasta), sometimes with some greens braised in vinegar or sautéed in a drop of oil. This except Thursday, when my mother would go down to Brenna to buy rice from the miller and make soup with a few beans or some greens, and then we’d feel as if we were putting on weight with every spoonful. But this only happened on Thursdays, and there was no bread, because we only had it once or twice during the harvest, when we’d go out into the fields, women and children combing the furrows like mice to gather stray grains of wheat, grind them, and make loaves to satisfy a hunger as old as time.

“For the rest of the year we’d mention the bread of Our Father in the Sunday prayers we’d say with those Christians who did enjoy their daily bread, and on other days make the sign of the cross on our breasts through our shirts and make do…”

This quote is excellent because it shows just how flawed this idea that so many people have brought into is. Namely the idea that italian cooking is peasant cooking. Italian cooking has its basis in the cities where people were rich enough to eat a varied diet.


One Response to “Italy: Where even the peasants eat well..”

  1. Brian October 31, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    Enjoying your erudite and intersting posts, especially the ham trip in Slovenia, and the correction to the myth that most Itlaians ate then as they do now.

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