Archive for category: US Culture

Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Scordo Thanksgiving Food Tradition My immediate family immigrated from Italy in the early 1970′s and immediately adopted the traditional Thanksgiving meal.  My parents, who lived with my grandparents, tell me the first Scordo Thanksgiving meal featured a whole turkey, mashed potatoes, and something akin to sausage stuffing.  Of course, the meal included other “essential” best Thanksgiving side dishes such as [...]

Simple Italian Food: The Anatomy of a Dinner

Simple Italian Food: The Anatomy of a Dinner

  (photo: examples of simple Italian food: lentil soup, fennel and cucumber salad, and flounder with breadcrumb topping) We’re at a food crossroads in America and anyone who takes food seriously in the United States should consider themselves lucky to be living in today’s culinary world.  The food universe landscape in the United States is moving from the ultra bland [...]

Cucina Povera by Pamela Sheldon Johns

Cucina Povera by Pamela Sheldon Johns

(photo: the author of Cucina Povera, Pamela Sheldon Johns) If you were to tell people that Italy and America have a few things in common you’d most likely receive some awkward stares.  After all, America is a country driven by capitalism and rationality while Italy operates under a lifestyle driven worldview with importance placed on living well and understanding the subtleties of day to day existence [...]

How to Have an Italian 4th of July and/or Labor Day

How to Have an Italian 4th of July and/or Labor Day

Let’s face it, without the many ethnic groups now a permanent part of the US fabric we’d all be living in a pretty bland and sterile environment.   Specifically, immigrants are at the heart of American life and they are what make our country so special.  If not, for example, the culinary traditions of recent immigrants to the United States we’d [...]

Why You Should Eat Like My Immigrant Family – Cook and Eat Like You’re Off the Boat

Why You Should Eat Like My Immigrant Family – Cook and Eat Like You’re Off the Boat

Food Philosophy – You Got to Be Kidding! If you’re not an avid reader of the Atlantic (or similar general interest magazines like the New Yorker) then you’ve undoubtedly missed both B.R. Meyers’ anti foodie argument/rant (in a piece called, “The Moral Crusade Against Foodies – gluttony dressed up as foodie-ism is still gluttony”) and James McWilliams’ March 1st response entitled, “B. R. Myers [...]

USDA Dietary Guidelines and My 3 Step Food Philosophy

USDA Dietary Guidelines and My 3 Step Food Philosophy

(photo: eat more real food like tomatoes, red onion, sardines packed in olive oil, fresh whole milk mozzarella, great bread, and red wine)  The web is on fire with talk about the recently revised dietary guidelines from the USDA.  The USDA, which updates their food recommendations every five years, now suggests reducing the intake of sodium, eating less food, and consuming more fresh [...]

A Plea to Cook at Home: Fast Italian Food

A Plea to Cook at Home: Fast Italian Food

(photo: cooking at home begins with basic ingredients; olive oil is key) “By becoming a cook, you can leave processed foods behind, creating more healthful, less expensive and better-tasting food that requires less energy, water and land per calorie and reduces our carbon footprint. Not a bad result for us — or the planet.” Why Don’t Americans Cook at Home? [...]

Do You Eat Your Oatmeal: A Guide to the Italian Breakfast

Do You Eat Your Oatmeal: A Guide to the Italian Breakfast

(photo: Typical Italian breakfast, brioche with gelato.  Image courtesy of THE MUESLI LOVER) Italians Love Coffee and Sweets for Breakfast! News break: if you’re Italian, you can have cookies for breakfast.  Seriously, cake is a traditional breakfast food in Italy and so are other sweets including cookies, brioche, pastries, croissants,etc.  Coffee is consumed as well and it’s usually a quick espresso [...]

Language, Identity, and the Italian American Experience: “Fresh Mozz” versus Mozzarella

Language, Identity, and the Italian American Experience: “Fresh Mozz” versus Mozzarella

I’ve always been interested in language and partly because I grew up speaking two languages at home. Specifically, I speak a southern Italian dialect from the Bagnara Calabra region of Calabria and, of course, English.  My mother tells an interesting story of the local kindergarten teacher in New Jersey wanting to send me back home on the first day of [...]

On the Italian Life and Consumerism: Our Review Of Eataly

On the Italian Life and Consumerism: Our Review Of Eataly

Italian Shopping on Steroids - On the Italian Life and Consumerism: Our Review Of Eataly You’ll have to excuse me if I sound a bit crabby this morning, as I just finished reading a New York Times review of the mega supermarket Eataly (located in New York City).  While the Times article was somewhat critical of the 50,000 square foot space [...]