Profile of Annita di Fonzo Zannella

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Appears in

In Nonna's Kitchen

In Nonna's Kitchen

By Carol Field

Published 1997

  • About

Annita di Fonzo Zannella tried not to look surprised when I arrived on her doorstep one Sunday morning. I had come to meet her son, the mayor of Campodimele, a city that is much in the news because so many of its residents live into their eighties and nineties. Of the various theories attempting to explain their long healthy lives, several credit the food: some suggest that the people of Campodimele owe their good fortune to eating cicherchia, a white bean that grows locally, or to small snails from the fields cooked in a tasty tomato and onion sauce, or even to a daily ration of scalogne in pinzimonio, shallots dipped in olive oil. Everyone is waiting for Dr. Pietro Cugini at the Policlinico Hospital in Rome to finish his studies and explain why so many old people in Campodimele have the cholesterol count of infants.