Lunch Hour Video: Cooking with Italian Grandmothers

Lunch Hour Video: Cooking with Italian Grandmothers

Dana Velden
Oct 6, 2010

It's an old cliché that we often don't know what we have until it's gone. Sad but true. Jessica Theroux's beautiful, simple video that documents an Italian farm woman preparing a meal is a poignant example of this. There are very few people left who live like her subject, Carluccia. People who know what greens to forage in the orchards or how to cook beans over a fire, how to raise a cow or slaughter a pig, or roll fresh pasta by hand. Come spend a few minutes in her world.

Carluccia's meal starts in the fields, where she harvests beans and in her orchard where she gathers olives and forages for wild greens. As we follow her around her farm, we're accompanied by the steady stream of her voice and the sounds of splashing water, a crackling fire, the whomp! of pasta being hand-rolled on the farm table.

When I watch this, I find myself wanting to know the things that Carluccia knows. I want to know which wild greens to pick or how to keep a small cooking fire going. I was also impressed with the amount of labor that goes into Carluccia's meal and reminded that in these circumstances, getting food on the table is a full-time, dedicated endeavor.

The film clip is almost 1/2 hour long, perfect for lunchtime viewing. Although if your meal today happens to be a ramen cup or a fast-food sub, you may find yourself feeling rather bereft compared with Carluccia's simple but soulful offerings!

• This short film by Jessica Theroux has been released in conjunction with her new book Cooking with Italian Grandmothers which we will be reviewing later in the week.

Related: How to Make Pasta: Tips from My Italian Mother-In-Law

(Image: Jessica Theroux)

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