|The pride of Piemonte now conquering the world: Eataly|
Everybody needs food to survive and have energy to do the things one has to do each day, no matter what country he or she lives in. The role food has in daily lifedepends among others on the countries history, climate, the economic situation and culture. In some countries getting food is people’s main activity; they work hard all day to be able to buy just enough food to feed their families. In other countries food is widely available to everyone without the need to put a lot of effort in it.
Inspired during a week in Italy’s food heaven Piemonte where food is pure and local. But maybe even more inspired on the flight home. The two Italians sitting next to me were amazed by the Dutch food traditions described in their travel guide.
Italy and The Netherlands are both Western countries. Food is available to everyone. To some extent the history of food in both countries is also similar. As John Dickie explains in his book Delizia! the Italian farmer families did not have plenty of food. They had to cook with the products available but the woman where able to make delicious and nutritious meals which nowadays we can still see in the Italian kitchen.
The Dutch living in the colder northern European climate mainly where also limited in the amount and diversity of products. Most meals in farmers houses consisted out of (mashed) potatoes and vegetables. Only in weekends, on festive days or in wealthier periods meat would be part of the meal.
But Italy also has a different relation to food. In history lessons about European history we learn that Italy was a country with powerful leaders, wealthy popes, kings and cardinals, and intelligent people. These people did not have to work hard and spent their days eating enormous banquets. Some of them even spread out over more days. Although this overload does not always sound healthy, a lot of habits which are still visible in the modern Italian kitchen come from that period.
This week I will describe a day in which two different countries feed themselves. Each blog post will be posted at the time the food is eaten. So breakfast early in the morning, lunch at mid-day and dinner in the (early) evening. After five short stories in which Italian and Dutch habits will be compared you can decide yourself which habits you prefer and which not. I hope it inspires both!