Born in San Mauro Cilento, a retired kindergarden teacher, Pia Paolillo, at 91, works with her own hands the garden where she “cultivates fruits and vegetables “in a disorganized way” and then eats every day. She uses her own olive oil on tomatoes at night for dinner. The oil from her own garden for Pia is special, she also uses it for frying, in spite of sunflower oil or peanut oil commonly used for frying: in her opinion they have no flavor.

Until she was 35, when she started teaching, she worked the land with the sisters. At the time, her days were timed by the alarm clock at dawn, especially at harvest time when you had to be in the fields at 5:00 am, breakfast was at 10:00, a tomato salad and homemade bread, and work started again at 15:00.

When she was young, she was forced to eat what nature offered, there wasn’t the variety of artificial fruit and vegetables that is found in today’s supermarkets. Meat, for Pia and her family, was the food of the holidays such as Easter, they ate it only once or twice a year.

Her madeleine is the ‘”antipasto”, prepared by her mother as a child on the day dedicated to the feast of Our Lady, the first Sunday after Easter, where all the relatives gathered: a piece of boiled meat cut into small pieces very thin and flavored with grated goat cheese and beaten eggs, all mixed with broth.

MedEatResarch, Centro di Studi Sociali sulla Dieta Mediterranea diretto da Marino Niola ed Elisabetta Moro
Document by: Rossella Galletti
Interview by: Rossella Galletti
Video by: Rossella Galletti and Antonio Puzzi
Video editing: Annalisa Rascato
Created: 12 luglio 2019
Pia Paolillo

Pia Paolillo

Year: 1928
City: San Mauro Cilento
Profession: Farmer and Teacher
Languages: Italiano

Geographic information

Country: IT
Region: Campania
City: San Mauro Cilento
District: SA
Altitude: 560 m. s.l.m.

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