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Bread and vinegar, a snack from times gone by


As a child I ate little or nothing and my mother's mantra was “eat Marina”. I don't have many memories of my childhood, in fact I have very few and some seem absolutely insignificant to me but when I started thinking about the posts dedicated to bruschetta a clear and precise situation came to mind: a hot day, a kitchen with the shutter down to keep the sultry air out and, in the dim light, an elderly aunt and small almost like a child who prepares a couple of slices of common bread with oil, salt and… red wine vinegar on top. Those slices are for me and I eat them all, I devour them.

I'm sure that as soon as mum reads these lines she will see the same images as me: Aunt Lina preparing food, carefully inserting cloves into the onion to make the sauce. She taught us many things about the domestic economy of the early 1900s, she handed down to us her way of making the sheets white and immaculate, rubbing them with soap and leaving them on the grass to dry and then rinsing them… and what a sight the lawn was around the house, a white expanse moved by the wind, the scent of Marseille soap spreading everywhere. And then she always took time to prepare the onion braids, then she hung them under the balconies to dry. A woman who in her own way took care of us grandchildren during childhood, trying to teach us those rules and traditions that contributed to making me a woman full of love for the past and history.

Everything reappeared with a slice of bread with vinegar, that thinking about it today makes me wonder how a little girl could love the strong and intense taste of a homemade red wine vinegar. Yet I didn't eat anything but I liked that snack.

It is clear to everyone that this is not a recipe post but a memory post. I wanted to capture a piece of my life between the virtual pages which in its own way is linked to cooking and I took these photos just for the sake of giving an image to these few lines.

The other time, with bread and tomato I raised many memories in many of you which in turn made me remember a snack eaten in the dim light of a 1960s Formica kitchen, with chatter in the Marche dialect in the background, in a sunny Romagna countryside. The painting of my childhood.

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