Other people's pantries. Q&A with Vea Carpi
Vea is a mountain farmer and a cook, she lives in a mountain farm in the Italian Alps where she has an agritourism with her family.
When I walk on the back roads of a new town, I’m attracted by the open windows that shed a light on other people’s lives. I imagine their daily life and create stories based on what they let us see from behind the open curtains.
Kitchen windows crowded with jars, bowls, and their most-used spices, bookshelves on the opposite wall crammed with books, an armchair - is that their favourite armchair to read? or is it where they watch tv at night? Pictures framed on the walls, a penchant for fresh flowers or toys scattered on a rug. These are all clues that make me guess how it would be to live there.
It is the same with pantries.
When I have the chance to visit a friend, or when I’m invited for the first time to a new home, I’m delighted when I have the chance to have a furtive look at their pantry. You can really tell a lot from other people’s pantries: their favourite jam to spread on toast, if they are a pasta or rice person, how many spices they use in their daily cooking, if they are enthusiast preserve makers, or if they opt instead for organic, traditional, or fancy store-bought preserves and competes.
You can tell which is their cooking style, their approach to food, and often, to life.
That’s why we are so excited to introduce a new column here on Letters from Tuscany, Other people’s pantries, a new series of Q&A with a focus on pantries as a privileged way to get into people’s lives, cooking styles, and favourite recipes. And I’m beyond excited to have my friend Vea from Mas del Saro as the first guest.
Ciao Vea, I’m so glad you accepted to be the first guest of this new series, all about other people’s pantries. Can you briefly introduce yourself?
I am Vea, I am a mountain farmer and a cook. I live in a mountain farm in the Italian Alps with my family (me, my husband and our three teen kids). I was born a city gal in Tuscany and I had never had anything to do with farming and cooking until I moved up here in the far north. The reason I moved is the most classical and "cliche": I fell in love with my husband-to-be and he happened to be a mountain man. Long story short: I ended up in a mountain farm, shovelling my life through snow, mud, manure and a lot of learning things from scratch.
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