3 naughtinesses about Italian cooking and food

Sometime ago, Academia Barilla gave out 10 Italian cooking commandments.

Academia barilla is an international center dedicated to the development and promotion of Italian food culture, and aims to promote authentic Italian products and culinary culture.

I’ve always been a bit of a rebel, and even if I totally agree with Academia Barilla basic rules and  never go in the opposite direction, the matching of the words food and commandments reminds me the annoyance with my mother’s rigmaroles, like “Eat your veggies”, “Do not munch” and “Sit properly and eat nicely”…

Today I am in a bitchy mood, for real (do you know Joe Bastianich in his worse mood?)

I want to speak frankly and “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”!

In a world where political correctness has grown like a mould… I’d like to share some unfair thoughts you should be aware if cooking Italian food, talking about Italian food and culinary traditions, or getting married to an Italian (in this case, some of these tips can save your marriage or make you run away just in time)…

1 No matter how you cook well, your mother in law cooks better!

Even if your mother in law cannot fix properly more than four ingredients together (including salt and pepper), in Italy one of the factors that are associated with a higher risk of divorce is disdaining your mother’s in law cooking style!

Here in Italy few things are more serious than food: one for sure is family hierarchy. Watch out!

2 The recipe is the law, variation are admitted on a cook’s degree of knowledge and experience

Even if we all know that a good recipe execution implies a certain amount of interpretation, variations are often considered a terrible mistake…

Let’s suppose a friend (or your mother in law) shares her recipe with you… please be really careful when exposing the “slight” improvements you did while making the same dish!

Recipe variation is always a subject that needs  reverent discretion… or someone may think that you can cook it better!

3 When nature is abundant, preserve! Nature, I said... not supermarkets!

Almost any Southern Italian family has a brilliant collection of recipes on how to preserve a glut of veggies.

This derives from the fact that the harvest season might be very productive, and the winter is long… Italians still bottle tomatoes at home, put eggplants and capsicum peppers in oil, preserve anchovies and capers in salt, prepare tons of jams and marmalades…

I think you could profile psychologically a person just from knowing if and what he/she is preserving… So, please do not let people impress you with their preserved foodies…

I admit I am not such a food preserver… for many reasons.

First, I love eating fresh seasonal foodies.

Second, I am aware that some methods drastically alter the character of the food being preserved.

Finally, preserving often means boiling, peeling, reducing, sieving, sugaring, sealing, sterilizing a gross amount of fruit and veggies. Bottling tomato turns my kitchen into the Kill bill set, with red splatters all over.

Up to me this messy activity, is worthy only if you preserve organic food of your back garden, or if a friend brings you veggies or fruit from its own field.

There’s really no reason to preserve tomatoes from the supermarket: you’ll always find fresh tomatoes at the supermarket. The same goes for apples. 

 



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