Ravioli Cutter

My object is a ravioli cutter. It has been used by my family to make pasta for many generations. This piece of my family’s history was purchased either in Italy or New York sometime during the 1910s or 1920s.  My great-grandparents and other ancestors on my father’s side are from Abruzzo, Italy. After coming to the United States in the 1920s, my great-grandparents continued to make their own pasta. The pasta cutter is important to my family because it allows us to remember the past as we become more American and less Italian. Although my item may not be a religious artifact, whenever I see it, I ask myself what it was like to live in the mountains of Abruzzo and how different life was back then compared to now. At times I feel a sort of disconnect from my roots because of how much time has passed. I wish there was a way for me to experience the past besides the stories my grandma tells. Nowadays, my family continues this tradition, and we make our own type of bread on holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. We also make pasta at times, but we never use the ravioli cutter because it is so old. Artifacts like the ravioli cutter help my family remember the past. This is why they are so important to us.

Place(s): Abruzzo, Italy, New York, Queens

– Giovanni Colasante

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant