By Carole M. Counihan
During this scrumptious ebook, famous nutrition student Carole M. Counihan offers a compelling and artfully advised narrative approximately family members and nutrients in overdue 20th-century Florence. in response to strong learn, Counihan examines how relatives, and particularly gender have replaced in Florence because the finish of global conflict II to the current, giving us a portrait of the altering nature of contemporary lifestyles as exemplified via nutrition and foodways.
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Additional info for Around the Tuscan Table: Food, Family, and Gender in Twentieth Century Florence
We produced everything on our farm— wheat, corn, potatoes—everything, vegetables for the family, what fruit we could grow, but nothing to sell We didn’t have a big enough farm, and anyway, no one ever came up there to buy because we were way out in the country. 1 We didn’t have milk cows, but we raised a few oxen for work. We sent them out to graze in the woods. While Berta’s family was not destitute, they had very limited resources, like most other mezzadria families: We were more or less in the same conditions as the other peasants; we were all at the same level What did we have to eat?
Valeria weighed nearly 200 pounds and attributed her difficulty walking and her physical discomfort to her excess weight. But using food for consolation was salutary because it helped deal with difficult situations. Valeria had to bear Baldo’s debilitating illness that left him bedridden for years. She had to manage the increased workload and bolster Baldo’s spirits. His illness on top of her heavy caretaking role put Valeria under considerable stress. Eating helped her cope and assuaged her nerves because of its gratifying effect on both body and soul.
She remembered him getting special foods for strength: Sometimes my father might have an egg, a raw egg beaten with sugar in the morning, because he was sick. No one begrudged it to him, truly. That egg did him good. We hardly ever had coffee, but if we did, it was for my father. In the old days, coffee was for sick people. ” He added that when he contracted pneumonia right after World War II, he had to eat raw eggs and horsemeat as well as coffee to regain his strength. Sixty-six-year-old Elena told of getting sick with worms from eating too many sweets that disturbed her body’s equilibrium.