A bakery in downtown Rome on September 18, 2008. (Tony Gentile/Reuters)

A bakery in downtown Rome on September 18, 2008. (Tony Gentile/Reuters)

In the land that invented La Cucina Povera — literally, the poor man’s kitchen — it’s no surprise to witness an increase in home baking. Figures recently released by Coldiretti, the association of Italian farmers, are staggering. Italians are buying record amounts of flour, eggs, and butter – the highest since World War II. A third of Italians are using these ingredients to make more pizza, and 19 percent are baking more bread at home.

A combination of Italy’s financial crisis and a greater awareness of local food are pushing the trend, says Jeannie Marshall, a Canadian expat and author living in Rome. “I bought a loaf of wonderful bread recently, which lasted us two days, but it was more than 5 euros for the loaf, so it’s not really cheap. You can make the same thing for about 80 cents, so there’s definitely an economic component to it.”

Read more on the Atlantic website…

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