I remember the huge chunks of homemade soap when we were growing up. When we spent the summers in Italy, the women would go to the local fountain or cibia to wash cloths in the morning and they would bring the soap along with them. Most fountains had a built in wash board and if someone was already there washing cloths, you would wait your turn as you caught up on town gossip. (Washing machine? what’s a washing machine?) Few people still go to the fountains to wash cloths anymore but the wash boards are still there… a reminder of days not too long ago.
Thanks to family friend Jennifer C. for the photo.
My family still makes soap – there was soap made from pork fat when we used to kill the pig every year and there was olive oil soap. I’m happy to say that we still make the olive oil soap and we’ve been making it here in the US now that we are bringing our family olive oil over from Italy. It’s an every day soap that’s great for sensitive skin. In Calabrian dialect it’s called Sapune – Sapone is the correct spelling in Italian… for me, it brings back happy memories – it’s sad to see a lot of these old traditions disappear, so hopefully we can continue to bring some of them back so that they’re not forgotten. The recipes, the way of life, the traditions that we grew up with – they can only be passed along if we do our part. What family traditions do you wish you still had?