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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2020 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 S i m p l i c i t y , m i n i m a l w a s t e , a w e l l - s t o c k e d p a n t r y a n d e m b r a c i n g s l o w n e s s . A m o n g t h e m a n y s i d e - e f f e c t s o f living at the time of a pandemic, we also find new culinary habits. Popular polls show how the health emergency has been affecting the time we spend in the kitchen, the way we do our shopping and even habits we believed to be unchan- geable. The invitation to go out only in case of necessity and to limit inter- personal contacts as much as pos- sible, imposed a drastic reorganization of our social relations and daily routines. The time we've been forci- bly spending at home has been an issue for many: busi- nesses unable to continue working, projects blocked, commitments missed, salaries lost. Some others had the opportunity to live this time as a healthy break, a moment to detox and regenerate. Putting aside justified moments of boredom, bewil- derment and loneliness, this change in our lifestyle brought along also a change in our conception of "staying at home," and offered us the opportunity to spend more time with our family, to enjoy hobbies we often set aside because of the many demands of our fast- paced lifestyles, to reorganize our priorities and "rein- vent" our days. In Italy, statistical research (but simply checking what sells the most at our local supermarket can suffice to demonstrate it) shows that it isn't only the way we shop that changed, but also our approach to cooking. While More time in the kitchen: an occasion to discover the values of Italian cuisine From the director Italy had a fairly positive and well rounded relationship with food even in "normal times," it is undeniable that, for a large amount of people, being forced at home meant having more time to spend cooking and to disco- ver the many pleasures of our cuisine. Indeed, it's not only that we are in the kitchen more, busy with pots, pans and kneading bread, we found a new desire to experiment, to discover new dishes and to dedicate our time to prepare complex, slow-cooking delicacies we would have never managed to prepare in pre-covid times. In Italy, homemade baked goods are winners: bread, pizzas, focaccia, cakes, plum-cakes, muffins and cookies, fresh pasta. We saw it well when, during the spring lockdown, flours and rising agents were the most sold products in our supermarkets. Still today, their sales are way above the average of previous years. In truth, food as a whole has changed, also because of restaurants and cafés being closed, people working from home and the impossibility to travel and to go out with friends. Starting with the way we shop: in our cart, we put especially primary goods, that is, pasta, rice, legu- mes, water, along with, of course, cleaning products and disinfectants. Another positive change has been the rising attention given to the quality of products and to avoiding waste: today, we throw less food away, we pay more attention to what labels say and we eat our lefto- vers. Food became a way spend time productively, to get the family together, especially if there are children. It is a way to pay attention to what we eat and, very often, food is a walk down memory lane: from North to South, video-calls to parents and grandparents to learn how to make lasagne, ragù, casatiello, panforte, multiplied. It took only a minute to rediscover our family traditions and recipes, and fill our afternoons with happy expe- riences in the kitchen, a ladle in the hand and a wooden spoon in the other. We also learned new skills and embraced new flavors we didn't know. Rediscovering the art of cooking became relevant also abroad, and not only among Italian expats. So, it's not a case that the Italian Embassy in Washington, along with the nine Italian consulates in the US and the ICE network, launched the Stay at home and #cookitalian initiative during the lockdown. A dozen Italian and Italian-American stars showed how to prepare their favorite dishes, with authentic, easy to find, Italian pro- ducts and obtained an incredible success. Neither is a case that the same agencies we've just mentioned, pro- moted — this year, as it has happened in the past five — the Week of Italian Cuisine in the World. In part, the aim is that of supporting Italian products' exports in the US, by showing how they are used in the kitchen. But cooking, in Italy, is above all culture. It's a way to relate to others, it's sharing among generations, it's conviviality, it's a sense of local belonging. It means local products and regional recipes, ancient traditions, social and even religious rituals. Most of our national culture passes through the kitchen. Using this peculiar time in our lives to embrace anew an old piece of our identity, or to discover how eating Italian— or Italian- style—is a way to learn more about il Belpaese, is a per- fect way to rediscover our being Italian, or to learn more about Italian society. Simone Schiavinato, Director NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 Member of FUSIE (Federazione Unitaria Stampa Italiana all'Estero), COGITO L'Italo-Americano 610 West Foothill Blvd. Unit D, Monrovia, CA 91016 - Tel.: (626) 359-7715 PLEASE SEND CORRESPONDENCE TO P.O. BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano Newspaper (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization), www.italoamericano.org, is the largest and longest-running Italian newspaper in America, not to mention the cultural and news resource for all things Italian in the US. A bilingual newspaper which represents an historical landmark for the Italian American Communities in the West Coast and throughout the US. L'Italo-Americano benefits from subsidies by the Italian Government, Memberships and Donations intended to support and not interrupt a mission that began in 1908 to preserve and promote the Italian language and culture in the USA Periodicals postage paid at Monrovia, California 91016, and additional mailing offices. PUBLISHER Robert Barbera Grande Ufficiale DIRECTOR/EDITOR IN CHIEF Simone Schiavinato ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER Patrick Abbate EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Barbara Minafra COPY EDITOR Francesca Bezzone LOS ANGELES CONTRIBUTOR Silvia Giudici SAN FRANCISCO CONTRIBUTORS Catherine Accardi Serena Perfetto SEATTLE CONTRIBUTOR Rita Cipalla CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mariella Radaelli, Francesca Bezzone, Luca Ferrari, Stefano Carnevali, Joel Mack, Paula Reynolds, Nicoletta Curradi, GenerosoD'Agnese, Fabrizio Del Bimbo, Maria Gloria, Alfonso Guerriero Jr., Anthony Di Renzo Serena Perfetto, Kenneth Scambray, Chiara D'Alessio © 2020 L'Italo-Americano Membership: One year $59 - Single copy $2.25 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to L'Italo Americano PO Box 6528 Altadena, CA 91003

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