Frozen in Time: Sophia Loren, London, June 1960

The Guardian-1 year before

“Hunger was the major theme of my childhood,” Loren later wrote. In the 1940s her mother begged on the streets for food; when an American soldier gave some chocolate to Loren, she didn’t know what it was. During pregnancy, Loren started making recipe notes, drawing on her famous passion for food (“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti”) to create a “gastronomic autobiography”. Eat With Me was published in the UK in 1972, and is a collection of Italian antipasti and glamorous full-page portraits of Loren. “Straddling a 5ft display of pâté while simultaneously pa...ting the heads of two live pheasants,” wrote food historian Polly Russell in the Financial Times, “Loren, cook-housewife-goddess, triumphs.” Russell’s descriptions suggest Loren’s well-broadcast passion for food was less about the food and more a way of solidifying her image as passionate. Hungry. “The presentation of Loren as desiring and desirable are reminders that to be a woman is a part to be played – something that Nigella Lawson, with an ironic, feminist wink would later come to embody as the nation’s ‘domestic goddess’. Eat With Me was a taste of what was to come.”

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