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Thread: The Economics Behind Grandma’s Tuna Casseroles

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    Post The Economics Behind Grandma’s Tuna Casseroles

    The Economics Behind Grandma’s Tuna Casseroles -- This is an interesting article. I was one of five children. 1/2 Italian, but raised on the Italian side. Everything was casseroles, pastas, pots on the table etc. I came home one day and saw my mother rolling egg noodles on the kitchen table and asked her "Mom, why can't we ever have store bought noodles like everybody else?" I would die for a bowl of her homemade chicken noodle soup. If we had extras for dinner; so what - there was always a big pot of pasta or something or other.

    To us, going out to dinner meant going to Nonno and Nanna's house for polenta patata.

    In 1950, the answer was “because we’re not made of money.” A restaurant meal was a special treat, not a nightly event, and prepared foods were not so widely available, in part because women tended not to work, but also because food processing technology was so advanced. So women had to cook whether they liked it or not. Explaining the food of yesteryear doesn’t require exotic theories about culture and politics. It mostly requires understanding the economics of food production and distribution, and the path dependence of culinary choices. The past is indeed another country, and like every country, it had its own cuisine that made the most of local resources.

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    I remember my mother's tuna casserole, yuck. She, we, made for it the same reasons, money was tight after my father passed.

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    I love tuna noodle. I make it deluxe though.
    One can be sure that he who says he knows knows nothing

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    That was one of the few dishes my mom made that was good.
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