Sara is a ninety-year-old lady living in Nicotera, the Italian village in Calabria where the Mediterranean Diet was firstly identified by dr. Ancel Keys in the 50s. The music you hear in this video is a ‘chitarra vattiente’ a 12-chords beating guitar of Calabrian origin. Sara still uses old tools to make fileja, a sort of macaroni, which are usually prepared with meat sauce. In this video, she prepares both fileja and tagliatelle while carefully explaining how to make them correctly, i.e. paying great attention to the quality of ingredients and to the method of mixing the ingredients. She also specifies how fresh eggs react when they are really fresh and how important is to benefit from her husband’s help. Then, she shows how to dry up the pasta, when you have little space at home.
The windows are open, and you can hear many grasshoppers in this midsummer afternoon. Sara cooks almost daily for her children and grandchildren and also enjoys preparing food for the people in need who live in her village. She always cooks more than she needs, but nothing goes wasted. This is a true, concrete example of what the Mediterranean Diet really is: ‘Diet’ comes from the Greek ‘Diaita’ and means ‘lifestyle’. A correct lifestyle is not only based on good food, but it is also based on hospitality and conviviality, therefore sharing what you have. A person’s well-being comes from using your hands and from the feeling of being a part of a community.
I discovered the genuine Mediterranean Diet many years ago when I fell in love with my husband, who comes from Nicotera (Calabria). As a Northern Italian young lady, that meant a deep change in my life and values. Now I write about Mediterranean hospitality as a sustainable hotel/restaurant management model. The Mediterranean Diet for me means both food and my home.
Twenty-five years of hotel management, ten of teaching in vocational training and public school and a great passion for the Mediterranean Diet are the motivations that inspired Giovanna Ceccherini to found Mediterranea Consulab consulting firm.
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I’m an Italian nutrition coach, speaker, entrepreneur and associate professor at the University of Gothenburg. I started MY career as a biologist and spent 15 years working both in Italy and then in Sweden.