La Cantina | The Cold Cellar

La Cantina | The Cold Cellar

Welcome to the launch of our new blog:

“Nonna’s Way-the Story of our Food”

Our mutual desire to preserve what we like to call “our living cultural library” has brought Anna and I together on this nostalgic journey. This is not just a recipe site. We hope to encompass the essence of Italian food along with its culture and history by sharing with you recipes and stories from our Italian mothers, fathers, nonnas, and nonnos.


Much has changed in the old country since our families immigrated to Canada. Those that left everything behind in Italy are like a time capsule by continuing the traditions that were alive and well when they left their homeland. This seems to be a common occurrence amongst immigrant cultures. We encourage all of you to record your ancestors’ stories and recipes and our hope is that this site can be an inspiration for you to do so.


We would love to hear your comments and suggestions so come back often and if you have a story and/or recipe to share, please contact us!


The first post here on Nonna’s Way doesn’t have a recipe actually. Just paying a little homage to the annual ritual of preserving everything possible in the dying weeks of summer. It’s the end of March here in Ontario. Although spring is officially here, it still feels like winter. Will it ever end? For many, this time of year means buying produce from all over the world. In most Italian households however, many a child is beckoned to go to the basement to retrieve a ‘gruppo’ of salami, some rapini or broccoli from the freezer, and a couple of onions and garlic from the cantina. And of course, don’t forget the bottle of wine. Make sure to duck your head and watch your step of course because right about now in the cantina, it is a maze of prosciuttos and hanging capicolli, salami, and pancettas. There, as you walk by to retrieve a bottle of wine from last year’s vintage, you will see the newly filled demijohns of wine sitting patiently on their large shelves made from plywood or an old wooden door. Every bottle that is opened is sworn to be the best they ever made!

wine and prosciutto hanging salami, wine, sauce and other Italian preserves

If it can grow here in Ontario, you can bet it’s somehow preserved. Beans and peas, either dried or frozen, fruit marmellata, canned peaches and pears, frozen berries, pickled eggplant, giardiniera, peppers, green beans, broccoli, and tomatoes – in many ways of course. Well, you get the idea. Two minutes in the cellar and you have all the ingredients necessary to prepare a beautiful pot of minestrone soup or tomato sauce that you can use in so many ways.


Picture yourself in this cantina surrounded by home grown goodness. It’s not hard. It just takes a little bit of time and planning which is rewarded by an immense sense of satisfaction in knowing what you’re eating and where it came from.

 lupini, pickled eggplant, and wild mushrooms cold room, cantina La cantina, cold cellar

Join us on this journey to preserving not only the goodness from the garden but the stories behind the recipes and tips or tricks our nonnas and nonnos have discovered along the way.


In fact, many recipes and how-to’s just might be visited several times as the techniques or ingredients change slightly from town to town in Italy, just as their dialect does!


From savory dishes to delectable sweets, we will cover them all. So stay with us. We are new to blogging but we are so excited and prepared to inspire you and have lots of fun together!


1 Comment

  • Chris Laracy

    02.04.2015 at 14:42

    Love this. It brings back so many memories of my parents and all their traditions. What a great way to preserve these traditions and recipes for our children and grandchildren.

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