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Thursday, 10 December 2009



I can't think of any other examples of cucina povera because I can only think about rosemary potato and goat cheese pizza. I drive past House Pizzeria every day and never even realized what great bounties could be found there!!!!! I once ate pickled watermelon rind in Italy, a great example of non si butta via niente and while not high on my list Great Things To Eat, I wish there was more of a tradition of that here.


Don't have a great example of cucina povera today, but 200 years ago in Massachusetts, lobster was considered a poor man's dinner. They used to serve it in prisons and there's actually a law that's still on the books that says that prisoners could not be made to eat lobster more than twice a week. Many servants also had this stipulation in their work contracts. Definitely not still true today!


I think the potato pierogi I grew up eating in Chicago (and sorely miss!) qualify. Soft, mashed potatoes inside a fresh noodly wrapper. Fry it in butter and onions, and I'm all set (and in a happy carb-coma).

A. R. Olson

I grew up during the "great" (when did it become great?) depression. We did have watermelon rind pickles. Corn meal mush was an UNtasty cheap food. My mother said "At least we have enough to eat." Ruth

Boots in the Oven

Susie, House is definitely worth a try! Eat in, though. And I've had pickled watermelon rind made by Logan, which was interesting but also not my favorite. I think there's a tradition of it in the Southeast?

Meaghan, how funny! How the tide turns, right?

Christine, ooh, I love potato pierogi! Perhaps it's our shared Chicago roots? (I'm from Hyde Park, originally - whereabouts are you from?)

And Nana, that is interesting, and goes back a bit to what I was saying - people that ate this way out of necessity are justifiably uninterested in returning to it! And cornmeal mush sounds just awful if there isn't anything good available to flavor it with.



The Mister's family were farmers in central Maine, going back several generations. Farming in central Maine was apparently not a high-earning profession. They were big on baked beans ... and, the next morning, cold baked-bean sandwiches. (Which actually is not that far from British baked beans on toast — or even more carbolicious, on a baked potato. I got pix...)


I'm from Brighton Park, which is as far south as Hyde Park, but quite a bit west, close to Midway. I do try to get pierogi when I visit home. There's a vendor at the Green City Market on Saturdays who sells them fresh (not frozen) that travel well.

Boots in the Oven

Maryn, I've heard of beans on toast in Britain - but in Maine? Interesting! I imagine that farming in Maine is pretty hellishly difficult... what do they have, a 4 month growing season?

Christine, very cool! My mother taught at Daley for years, so a bit south of you. Love, love, love pierogi...


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