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Traditional mid 19th century kitchen from northern Italy

These days we are used to high tech kitchens with dishwashers, microwaves, fancy cupboards, funky big American fridges, and we take it for granted. But not long ago it was so incredibly different.My grandparents were farmers, like the majority of Italians up to the 50s, and had a very different model of kitchen.
What you see here is a traditional Northern Italian kitchen dating from circa 1850 to the 1950′s with a sink made of stone, carved from a single block, supported by two bases in masonry or brick, on a shelf with hanging buckets.My grandmother still has a sink like that, which was primitive but so hard that it would never crack if a heavy pot or a plate fell on it. To cook and to warm the house up there was a wood stove (still much in use these days): of course there was no gas or electric stoves then, but only wood or coal was used.

The large pot on top was used to make polenta and the wooden stick was used to stir it. My mum still does it this way! The staple crop was used to make the weekly polenta in large batches in order to feed the family; bread was too expensive.

Back then there was no such a thing as a ready meal, everything was made completely from scratch, which included sowing the vegetables and planting corn to make polenta. Every family would rear their own cows, pigs, poultry and rabbits and make their own butter and cheese in order to feed the family.

So much hard work, but I suppose there was no wonder whether the food was organic or not! People were just happy to put something on the table and be able to feed the family.

3.2 Cucina del '900