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By Carol Helstosky

Pasta, cappuccino, olive oil--Italian meals is a favourite in our cafes, eating places and houses. yet what's the background of Italian food? And the place will we get our notions approximately Italian foodstuff? opposite to well known trust, the Italian nutrition used to be insufficient and unchanging for plenty of a long time. Successive political regimes--liberal, fascist, democratic--struggled to enhance consuming conduct, shaping not just Italian food yet Italian identification. This e-book unearths the cruel truth at the back of the myths surrounding this highly-romanticized cuisine.

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Local authorities, charities, and worker societies also became involved with implementing soup kitchens (the cucina popolare or cucina economica). Kitchens were popular in the northern regions where pellagra was prevalent. Pellagra is caused by the absence of niacin in an exclusively corn-based diet, common in the nineteenth century in regions like the Veneto, Piedmont, and Lombardy. The disease causes disturbances of the digestive and nervous systems, as well as skin rashes (oddly shaped reddish marks).

Class meant almost exclusively the lower classes: the urban and rural working class as well as the poor. Studies concentrated on anecdotal evidence regarding the quality of diet as well as family spending patterns. 63[th]lire per day on food. Diet, Lombroso judged, was adequate; workers consumed meat and other animal proteins but not on a daily basis. 53 Workers were not well off, however. Lombroso noted with concern that the family accumulated little or no savings for emergencies. In rural Italy, observers concentrated on the diet of day laborers and sharecroppers, who consumed bread with some kind of condiment (companatico), usually an onion, pepper, or on rare occasion, a piece of cheese or a bit of salted fish.

Based on his reading of monographs from the 1870s and 1880s, Nitti argued that workers from the United States consumed the most nutritious diets because food was cheap there. In Italy, food was too expensive and workers did not earn enough. Because Italian workers could not afford adequate nutrition, the nation experienced a crisis in production related directly to inadequate labor power. At the crux of this problem was inadequate protein consumption. Nitti’s comparison of social-science monographs revealed that Italian workers ate half the meat French workers did and one-quarter that of British workers.

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