reflections on food

growing, cooking, eating, and thinking…

F2 = 1 := Good Food Brings Good Company

longtable&fire

I discovered early in life that food has powers. It can soothe emotional pains, and bring to your table people that would not otherwise talk to each other. For many migrants, food traditional to their families, the tools they use to prepare and serve it, and the setup of the table hold deep meanings. The table in this picture belonged to my paternal grandfather, who bought it from two friends of his to help them a time they needed money. In its soft chestnut wood, there are etchings and marks made by my father when he was a kid, and by my kids. It is a symbol of generosity that spans through generations: it can sit from four to eighteen people, and we have used for gatherings ever since my father gave it to me. The dishes have been collected my late uncle. They are mismatched, and come from three different sets of fancy German porcelain dishes. They look very similar, though, and you need a discerning eye and an eye for details to tell them apart.

There are many other mementos in the photo: the green napkins belong to a set my mother in law was embroiling the day she met her future husband. Vases and ceramic plates on the walls have been inherited from various family members, or bought in places we traveled to. The black chairs were designed for the cultural centers Adriano Olivetti helped establish in the Canavese region in the 1950s. My father helped with the opening and the closing of many such structures, dismantling his political dreams with Olivetti’s “Movimento di Comunita’” after Adriano’s death. He rescued the chairs first when the cultural centers closed. I rescued them later from my father’s endless storage rooms.

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This entry was posted on January 31, 2015 by in autoethnography, food and tagged , , .
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