Above: over the weekend in Turin, 7,000 servings of Amatriciana raised nearly €50,000 for victims of last week’s earthquake in central Italy (image via the popular Italian food blog Scatti di Gusto).
There’s no link available online to non-subscribers but I wanted to post an excerpted translation of the piece. Like my Italian colleagues, I was moved by Cannavacciuolo’s take on the power of food and the way Amatriciana has become a symbol of recovery and hope in the wake of last week’s tragedy.
“Disasters destroy communities and they also destroy their symbols,” he wrote.
- They cause schools, hospitals, hotels, and churches to crumble. And once again, the earthquake that struck central Italy seems to have destroyed almost everything.
- But one symbol, however seemingly simple, has been spared: food.
- Today, Amatriciana, a dish that takes its name from one of the towns struck by the seismic event, sends a very powerful message.
- We all know that food is part of our daily lives. But it’s not just nourishment. It’s also history and memory.
- And that’s exactly what Amatriciana is: a simple dish of the people that carries forward the history of those who created it and the traditions of an ancient rural cuisine.
I was also really moved by my friend (and neo-Houstonian) Jeff Kralik’s post today, “Headed to Italy with a Heavy Heart.”
Before he left for a trip to Italy yesterday, he made his family an Amatriciana, which his sons devoured “with aplomb.”
Jeff’s planning to give blood during his stay.
As banal as it may sound to some, the legacy of a place and people lives on through an otherwise simple dish made from the humblest of ingredients. It’s the power of food as history and memory to inspire us…