- Family and Parenting
Mangia In Italian Spells Love
In an Italian household, the Italian wife and mother spends a lifetime in her kitchen preparing special recipes for her husband, children and grandchildren. There is no doubt in my mind that this is not the highest form of love that these mothers can share with their families.
No recipe is ever final because Italian mothers continually strive to make them better. The sauce has to be just so but with a dollop of this or that it can be better.
Mama shines when the families come together for a celebration because the house smells of all the goodies that she has prepared for her guests. The word "Mangia" is stressed with pride as she invites one and all to her table.
At a young age girls help their Mamas and Nunnas to make pasta and sauces which is the basis for most Italian dishes. It is an art that can only be passed down from one generation to the next and requires what can only be called the art of pleasing those who eat at your table.
Sauce starts with tomatoes (sometimes right out of the garden) and with just the right seasoning and vegetables is nurtured by loving hands and watched over as it simmers into just the right consistency.
Easter starts with the trip to the produce yards to get all of the ingredients needed for the Easter morning feast. Familia is important and the feast that is put on the table although it consists of bread and eggs is anything but plain.
The Italian Easter Bread is made with special attention given to the extra touches by using sweet dough and braiding the bread and adding colored Easter eggs to make the bread special.
The eggs are made into an frittata that includes all of the Italian meats and cheese and cooked to perfection. This dish is served warm but is every bit as delicious cold.
Italian Wedding Cookies
There is no greater love than when the Italian mother makes wedding cookies. Trays and trays of pizzelles and Italian Love Knots are made with loving care. The process of making cookies for an Italian wedding is an art that is started well in advance of the wedding and the cookies are stores with love for the occasion.
No article on Italian love for cooking and eating would be complete without mentioning the Feast of the Seven Fishes which is a tradition in Italian homes.
On this night the table is set up with a variety of fish and is the holiest of nights for the family to come together and celebrate with food which is shared with their families and anyone who comes to their door on that night.
In conclusion there is no higher form of love in an Italian household than when a mother or grandmother spends her days lovingly cooking for her family by making every imaginable dish for their enjoyment. There is no greater way for a family to show their appreciation of all the love she has put into the meal for them than to "Mangia."