I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!
Chewing the Fat by @historicalitalianfood is opening my eyes to the way food *really* was in Italy 3/4 generations back. The interviews Karima has shared with women in their 80s and 90s are astounding. The lives they led, the hardships, the struggle for food, the cooking. I can’t read more than a few pages at a time as it’s so much to take in.
One of the things these women talk about over and over again is how they used animal fats. Almost every interviewee talks about lard or lardo. Olive oil was just not a ‘thing’ like we in the post-industrial, food-led-by-marketing world think it was.
I’ve been rendering lard in my own kitchen from local pigs for nearly a decade and using it in a myriad of ways. It’s a magical fat that has not made me fat. Reading the words in this book, I realise lard was and *is* normal and I stand on the shoulders of so many women. Our diets are not the only thing that have been hijacked by mainstream food systems, our history has too.
Have lard stories? Want to share them with me? I’d love to hear.