When I was a kid and I was at school, my mum used to make me a sandwich everyday for the so called “merenda” which was the half morning break.
My sandwich was always the biggest one and also the most filled one. When I say that, I really mean it because I know for sure my mum used to buy 100 grams of prosciutto or salami or anything similar. 100 grams it is quite a lot for just one sandwich. But I have such good memories of those sandwiches that when I have to make my own now I do fill them a lot.
I thought I never figured out why she was putting that much ham in a panino but tonight I finally got it: it’s about showing how much you care for someone. It might sound weird, for you foreigners, but in Italy the food culture is a big thing. And it doesn’t mean that you just have to be good in cooking, it’s something more deep and we have it in our blood.
When people get married, we have a big meal. When people die, we have a big meal. When there’s a newborn, we have a big meal. When we graduate we do the same. And preparing food for someone else means that you care. So filling your sandwich/savory tart/cake means that you have something to give to someone else and I realized that while I was preparing this tart with goat cheese, mozzarella, courgettes and ham. I also had some extra pastry so I decided to make some tiny sweet tarts with raspberry jam. I don’t even have to tell you that the tarts were almost exploding but knowing that tonight my housemates will come back home and will smile seeing the food, makes me feel happy and glad for sharing it.
Being happy can be really simple.
For me, it’s all about a good filling.