"Dear little hands". Kitchen recipes and female gender construction

Author/s Elena Zapponi
Publishing Year 2014 Issue 2013/3 Language Italian
Pages 13 P. 101-113 File size 67 KB
DOI 10.3280/MON2013-003004
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This article analyses the subject of home and feminine identity with regards to a specific perspective: the kitchen and the pedagogy spread by kitchen books. Depending on the time of publication, what emerges in classical Italian recipe books is a model of domesticity differently centred on the figure of the woman as the angel in the house. This social construction especially takes place at the time of Italian Risorgimento by the end of the 19th century and it was strongly promoted and ultimately established during Fascism. The press of that period and in particular the kitchen books or recipes woman’s page in newspaper reflect the ideology of the woman as the angel in the house. This long lasting model is partially changing today. Even though the distribution of the domestic work is still not equal, kitchen becomes more of an unisex place. The practice of cooking is less a duty and is more often chosen as an affirmation of personal identity, expressed through original recipes, ethnic influences, family memories, local traditions: not just «I am what I eat» but also «I am what I cook».

Keywords: kitchen and female identity, cookbook, woman, gender, angel in the house, domestic space

Elena Zapponi, "Manine care". Ricette di cucina e costruzione del femminile in "MONDO CONTEMPORANEO" 3/2013, pp 101-113, DOI: 10.3280/MON2013-003004