When I was young I used to love travelling. Nothing else would excite me more than getting to know different cultures and languages and trying all sorts of different foods.
It was all very good and I didn’t miss my family too much but I really craved for my mamma’s minestrone! That was a serious issue as I remember continuously day dreaming about having spoonfuls of minestrone with all those chunky and flavourful pieces of vegetable fresh from the garden, the thick maltagliati and rustic pasta she used to add and those fat and chubby borlotti beans… gosh how could you beat that?
And this is how they hook you, you know. Mamma knows only too well that you cannot possibly manage without their home cooked goodness. So it is a clever way of keeping you close. And Italians are always ruled by their pancia (stomachs)!
And I was certainly not the only one as many Italian children always look forward to going back home for their mamma’s food. Because in Italy la mamma is la mamma! She is the core of the family. They say it is the mamma that keeps the entire family together.
Although life has changed and many women go back to work these days and cannot spend all their time cooking, taking time to prepare a decent meal and sitting all together at the table is still a very important and much valued part of Italian life.
From adults to bambini, they all eat together (and strictly the same foods!) and learning to feed a family is considered a skill and a passion that is passed down from generation to generation. And food is no laughing matter. Italians take their food seriously, very seriously! So be careful when you say what lasagne should be made of!
An Italian mum never sees cooking as a plain boring job to feed the family. All her feelings, love, passion and experiences go into the food itself so she becomes part of the recipe and this is what happens when food is made with love. I remember that my mamma’s minestrone tasted of mamma!
Mamma knows that beautiful and healthy food will result in her children growing healthy and strong. And if that is not important than what else could be in life? We all want the best for our children and cooking for them is one of the greatest ways to show that we care and love them.
I grew up watching my mum constantly washing, scraping vegetables. She would be up at the crack of dawn to dig vegetables in the field and then prepare them. The table would always be full of muddy fresh vegetables from the field. I used to think: “she is mad I would never do that! I’d rather do something else with my life!” And here I am today doing just the same! It must be in the Italian genes.
Vegetables were everywhere and many would end up in soups or minestroni. Nothing could beat a freshly made soup made by mamma. Meals are usually uncomplicated and simple dishes are put together with care and love. Her reward is when every plate is wiped clean and every stomach is satisfied. Nothing can beat that!
Everything turned into this fabulous rustic green bean soup full of goodness. Healthy and refreshing, I could eat this every day 🙂
VIVA LA MAMMA!