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We can describe "la Cucina della nonna" as the tradition of a grandmother handing down all of her families special recipes to the next generation. This generation of Italian cook rarely has her recipes written down and when asked how she makes a particular dish, she will give such vague instructions as “un pugno” (handful), or to pour “al dito” (by the finger). They measure by “all’occhio” (by eye) and judge how a mixture should feel rather than by exactly measuring each ingredient that goes in to it.
Italian women all seem to share a passion for food, which is probably why life in Italy has always revolved around the kitchen. An Italian grandmother can throw together a meal at the drop of a hat and often out of just a few ingredients, sometimes even leftovers. They use the freshest ingredients they can find, which is why Italian cooking is so seasonal. Even today there are women who go to the market each morning to see what is fresh before planning their evening meals for their families. I feel they express their love for their families with the food they prepare to fill their stomachs, which is probably why they always seem to be chasing family members around encouraging them to eat.
It seems that no matter when you stop by an Italian household, you are brought to the kitchen or dining room, and then offered first a beverage and then some type of food. Often dish after dish is presented, regardless of the time of day. Even for unexpected visitors we always seem to have a vast selection of food to offer.
I feel it is important for all of us to continue learning the traditional recipes from our mothers and grandmothers so we can then pass them through to the next generation. I have tried to collect many of these recipes over the years and I would like, one day, to pass my love of cooking on to my children who could make many of their “Nonna Maria's recipes. And.... when my grandchildren are old enough, I will take them by their hands and lead them into my kitchen to carry on the tradition of "la Cucina della nonna".
Rent The Cook is geregistreerd bij de Kamer van Koophandel Noord West Holland onder nummer 24 35 73 74
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laatste aanpassing 28 januari 2013