Plate in… Naples (5/7): trompe-l’oeil cuisine

“Mangia foglie. » Leaves. As incredible as it may seem, this is the name of the Neapolitans, who nevertheless invented two (non-vegetable) emblems of Italian gastronomy – pasta and pizza – worldwide. A qualifier dating back to the Middle Ages when people were forced to eat what grew easily around them, or leafy green vegetables such as Broccoli Where friarielswhich were fried in bacon to give them a little richness.

In the 18th century, after the famine of 1763 and 1764, these herbivores became mangia macaroni, or people who eat pasta. Famine drove people from the countryside to the cities in search of work, and Naples then had a high population density, and a poor one at that. Dry pasta, sometimes a meal, became a staple instead of meat, which was too expensive.

Like pizza, pastasciutta was born in a specific social context, namely the need to feed the multitude of people inhabiting the narrow streets of Naples, most of whom live in small apartments without the ability to prepare their own food. An authentic example of popular street food,” notes the Italian historian Luca Cesari, a specialist in the history of gastronomy (1).

Pasta, which in bourgeois kitchens is boiled for a very long time, sometimes for an hour. And then the little people come up with cooking al dente,

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