About Mangia Mangia!

"What are we going to Mangia! Mangia! (Eat! Eat!) when our Mammas are no longer around?

Mangia! Mangia! is born from the urgency to record our migrant Italian family’s unwritten recipes and food traditions before our food-wise elders pass away. To ignore this responsibility is to actively contribute to the death of a rich food culture which is distinct from the mother country's and possesses its own energy and identity. God forbid a world without homemade salami, tomato passata and preserves, and to die for pasta sauces! So it's Mangia! Mangia! to the cultural rescue.

As children of Southern Italian immigrants growing up in Melbourne, Australia during the 70’s and 80’s, traditional Calabrian homemade food was the epicenter of our family’s heart and soul. The backyard vegetable garden was proudly and lovingly maintained; before we even learnt to walk we knew where our food came from. We were aware of the rhythm of the seasons and dependence on nature. Our simple but memorable meals were homemade and enjoyed with a spirit of celebration and gratitude.

Forty years later, a great deal has changed but our unwritten food traditions remain; however this too is under threat. Our food-wise elders are getting older, with many already having passed away. Our solid defense against the modern world’s atomized and homogenized food culture is in danger of disappearing.

This realization sent us into severe panic mode. What are we going to eat when the elderly are no longer with us? Who is going to make all the wonderful food that defines our cultural identity? Who is going to teach future generations how to eat well, respect food and nurture their humanity?


The answer? Us – Mangia! Mangia! the next generation! Responsibility for passing on the Mangia! Mangia! knowledge from the traditional oral based world to our Information Age rests on our shoulders. So resolute and determined with notebook in hand, camera in handbag we embarked on our Mangia! Mangia! journey.

We hope to inspire all to rescue their own Mangia! Mangia! food culture and become a part of this timely movement.

Buon Appetito
Angela Villella & Teresa Oates