Want to learn more about the secrets of pasta-making? Pasta Grannies is for you then!
You will most certainly agree that grandmothers make the best food in the world. Maybe it’s their decades of experience with cooking, or perhaps newer generations have simply lost the art of food-crafting, but grandmothers know how to please even the most sophisticated of tastes.
The Pasta Grannies YouTube channel cherishes and celebrates decades-old Italian food traditions. The main focus of the channel is on pasta, but it often features many other food items from Italian cuisine.
If you want to add a few more recipes to your cookbook – or if you just love food – read this article and then make sure to have a look at Pasta Grannies on YouTube!
What Is Pasta Grannies?
Pasta Grannies is an online studio dedicated to cooking. It was started by Vicky Bennison.
Pasta Grannies is described as follows on its website:
I’m finding and filming women who still make pasta by hand – a tradition that is disappearing in Italy. Along the way, I also meet producers, people and delicious non pasta food, so I share those too.
The Pasta Grannies YouTube channel was started in the summer of 2014. As of late June 2021, the channel had over 770 thousand subscribers and over 36 million total video views.
The channel typically posts new videos every Friday.
Who Started Pasta Grannies?
Pasta Grannies was started by Vicky Bennison – a former consultant and project manager from the United Kingdom.
Bennison’s LinkedIn profile states that she received a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Zoology from Newcastle University in 1982. In 1992, she graduated from the University of Bath with a Master of Business Administration.
From 1992 to 2006, Bennison worked as a Management Consultant for international and development assistance programs in developing and transition economies. Her clients included charities, international donor agencies, and government departments in South Africa, Russia, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom, among other countries.
On the Pasta Grannies website, Bennison writes that she, as a foodie, began documenting her culinary adventures while working in international development.
At the beginning of her writing career, Bennison wrote “The Taste of a Place” – a series of guides aimed to help readers find good food and wine in a number of locations. This series included The Taste of a Place: Corfu: A Culinary Guide to Greece’s Most Beautiful Island (2002), Mallorca, the Taste of a Place: A Culinary Guide to a Beautiful Island (2003), and The Taste of a Place Andalucia (2005).
Later, she co-authored Seasonal Spanish Food (2010) with London-based Spanish chef Jose Pizarro.
In 2014, Bennison started Pasta Grannies.
In 2019, Bennison published Pasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook: The Secrets of Italy’s Best Home Cooks. Pasta Grannies is inspired by the YouTube channel and contains many of the recipes featured on it. With an average user score of 4.8 stars out of 5 after over 2,9k ratings, this book appears to be the most successful printed work of Bennison so far!
Bennison started Pasta Grannies after she noticed that cooking skills were no longer being passed to younger generations. With pasta-making becoming an increasingly commercial activity, Bennison decided to help keep the tradition of homemade pasta cooking thriving by launching her YouTube channel.
Bennison’s YouTube channel has featured grannies from all around Italy, with each region having its own unique traditions of pasta influenced by local culture and available ingredients.
Many of the people that appeared on the channel were in their 80s and 90s. The crew of Pasta Grannies makes the shooting process more like a conversation by chatting with the grannies.
In 2019, the channel featured 100 years old Letizia from Sicily.
In March 2021, the channel featured 101 years old Concettina from the southwestern region of Calabria. Concettina is the oldest pasta-making granny on the channel as of late June 2021.
In a 2020 interview with Italy Magazine, Bennison said that she had a “granny finder” to help with the project – Livia de Giovanni from Faenza.
It’s very important to have an Italian to do the persuading. And you need to have a connection. In the first instance you’re usually dealing with relatives and friends of the women as gatekeepers, then the grandmother herself. That’s the two-stage process, so by the time we walk down to their front door everyone is clear that it’s okay.
Most of the contacted grannies do agree to be featured on the channel. In fact, Bennison thinks that they enjoy the newness of it.
Pasta Grannies had nearly half a million subscribers at the time of Bennison’s interview with Italy Magazine. Regarding the popularity of her channel, Bennison said:
People love pasta, that’s one thing. But I think they love grandmothers even more. And it’s quite a calming, soothing thing to watch in times of uncertainty.