In the US, we often hear about the benefits of eating a Mediterranean diet
Here in Calabria this means eating natural and according to the seasons, and the fruitful harvests that continue throughout the
year. Calabria is a supplier for the markets of Italy of oranges, lemons, figs, chestnuts, and a wide assortment of vegetables
and flowers. The growing season lasts nine or ten months, with a mild, sunny climate. The peasants of the area bring their
products and other articles of the Earth to open markets that have existed for centuries. The Friday morning market in
Soverato like most every other community here is a destination in itself, with literally hundreds of vendors selling local fruits,
vegetables, poultry, fish, cheeses and meats from their individual market stalls. While breakfast is often composed of a cup of
coffee, and perhaps a little bread or sweet of some sort, lunch more than makes up for it, and Calabrians leave offices, shops
and fields for home cooking and a leisurely meal that begins with an antipasto of cheese, sausage, olives and artichoke hearts
then a plate of piping hot pasta, followed by a meat course of ham, chicken or veal and depending on the occasion perhaps a
fish courses. Here along the golf of Squillace, the daily catch of sea bass, squid, octopus, shrimp and crabs are prepared
simply with a variety of sauces. Fresh fruit is the preferred desert for most occasions with cookies, pies and pastries added for
special occasions. A nap after lunch is generally in order and taken at this point. Age old recipes made with wholesome
natural ingredients are still the norm. While packaged prepared foods certainly exist here like everywhere, most of the food
products consumed in Calabrian homes, restaurants and agritourisimos (farm B&Bs) are home grown without preservatives.
Chefs here pride themselves on natural foods. …And the flavor! Eating here can be a passion!Chefs here pride themselves
on natural foods. …And the flavor! Eating here can be a passion!
Offered for your reading enjoyment.. Degree of difficulty - 1= Easy, 5 = Difficult
|Cuisine - Life and family revolve around food
||Download the stories in this section as a booklet for easier
reading and sharing with friends.
|The Proposal A short story about falling in love with the natural foods and life in Calabria.
by Marty Sturino
"....This is hunting season here in my village, and while I haven’t been invited into the club of sportsmen who own the guns and have
permits to hunt, I’m aware of their hunting. I’ve been roused from my nap by a volley of blasts that I guessed to be coming from
behind my car just outside my gate, which keeps me indoors and behind concrete walls when they are around."
|Putting up Tomatoes A heart warming story of the annual task performed by so many Calabrians still today to
ensure that they will have a secure supply of the worlds finest pasta sauce for the next winter season.
by Loredana DiBella
"...This time in the life of Calabrians is both a cross to bear and delight, for those who must take part in it. Usually at least four people
are required to man this assembly line. Which is a beautiful thing, because it becomes a moment of togetherness, and in between a
splash of water and a crushed tomato, the people doing the work tell stories!