This colander first belonged to my great-grandmother, who migrated to the small industrial city of New Britain, CT from Turin, Italy as a teenager in 1917. The colander is a kitchen staple used in many Italian households to strain pasta or rinse vegetables. First purchased by my great-grandmother after starting a family in the 1920s, this colander has since been passed down to my grandmother, who has used the tool to prepare countless pasta dinners for our family. Looking beyond the simple purpose of this object, this colander represents the preservation of our traditions and demonstrates how food links my family to our Italian heritage. Growing up in an Italian American family, there is one word that comes up repeatedly: mangia. The word has taken on much more meaning than just "eat." Instead, it conjures up the warm feeling of home, comfort, and love. Mangia means Sunday night supper with the whole family; the women huddled over the pot of sauce fussing over the balance of flavors; recipes memorized and passed down. For three generations (and counting), our family has used this colander as we gather and celebrate life's milestones with Italian food: it has become a reflection of our Italian American experience.
– Alexandra Smith