Italian Word of the Week CUCINA

italicsBy Daniela Gross

The word of this week is so beloved to the Italian way of life and thinking. “Cucina” – to be pronounced “kutchìna”- comes from the Latin. The “cucina” is the kitchen, and at the same time it is a verb, specifically the third person singular of the present indicative or the second-person imperative of “cucinare” (to cook).

Both as a verb and as a noun, it is a really frequently used word. Italy is a country where food is sort of a religion. Here to cook is a daily routine, as it is to take care of your dear ones sand of yourself through good food. If you eat kosher this practice is a bit harder. The kosher cooking requires a careful choice of ingredients and specific preparations, items that sometimes are quite complicated to assemble.

Except in the big Jewish Communities, it is anything but easy to have a kosher “cucina”. The kosher food is not so widely available, it is sometimes so expensive to be unaffordable for many families. The recent project of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development, aimed at setting up a national brand for the Italian kosher food should lighten these labors. In the meantime, the social kosher kitchen granted in Milan to the less fortunate by the Chabad group, an article that you can read about it in this issue, comes as a welcome and meaningful news.