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Italian Food and Culture

Discussion in 'Other Discussions' started by Reformed, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Both sides of my family entered the United States through Ellis Island and eventually settled in Northern New Jersey; my father's side from the United Kingdom and my mother's side from Italy. My parents divorced when I was a young boy, so I was raised by my mother and her side of the family. I grew up with everything Italian; from being a religious and cultural Roman Catholic (which I have since left) to all the food and traditions that go with the Italian culture.

    As a boy, I was convinced that the Christmas season was invented by and for Italians. The entire season (beginning the day after Thanksgiving) was just a convenient excuse for wanton gluttony. The Italian food we indulged in was not the Olive Garden brand. Some of the foods we ate would not exactly be embraced by Chef Boyardee. Dishes like Capuzelle (lamb's head), Trippa (tripe), Capitone (eel), Bacalao (salted cod), Cervella (cow's brains) were all on the table, especially on Christmas Eve. Kind of puts a different twist on Veal Parmigiana or Spaghetti and Meatballs, hmm? Of course, these exotic dishes were served side-by-side with all the aforementioned Veal Parmigiana, pasta (mostly Rigatoni and Ziti), Lasagna, Manicotti, Meatballs, Sausage and Peppers, Italian cheeses, various iterations of pork, Calamari, and Pulpo (octopus). There were also copious amounts of Italian bread, cakes, and pastries.

    While family and friends visited (and vice versa) all through the Christmas season, the big event was Christmas Eve. My grandparent's house should have had a revolving door. The evening was just a never-ending parade of aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbors; each one bringing a plate of food. It was a wonderful time. My grandfather would end the evening by drinking a tall glass of Brioschi, an Italian lemon-flavored sodium bicarbonate. It was his way of feeling better after eating enough food to feed a pack of elephants. The belch he let out was quite impressive to my childhood counterpart.

    Living just a short drive across the Hudson River from New York City, we used to visit the Italian section of the Bronx on Arthur Avenue. This is one of the last neighborhoods in the United States that is distinctly Italian. It is unlike Little Italy in Manhattan and Baltimore. Those areas are nothing more than tourist destinations. Arthur Avenue is an Italian community. I ran across the following video this morning that brought back a lot of memories. Even though I now live in Central Florida, I plan on making a trip to visit Arthur Avenue this December.

    Mangia bene!

     
  2. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Frittata di spaghetti! My latest adventure into Italian cuisine....



    Retrograde the starch for health!
     
  3. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    And you couldn’t find this stuff in South HACKENSACK, Newark and Edgewater?
     
  4. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Not like Arthur Avenue. Arthur Avenue is an Italian haven.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    You can’t do this to me.... now I gotta go into the Bronx. Maybe Christmas.
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    The funny thing is my son in Orlando is having food withdrawals... LOL. He is begging my wife to bring Pechters and bagels down to FLA on her next trip and she has to cook meatballs when she is down there.
     
  7. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Tell your son to visit Il Pescatore in Orlando IL Pescatore :: Italian Restaurant :: Orlando, FL :: The Real Italian Restaurant

    Il Pescatore is owned by an Italian chef from Naples. My wife and I go there often. The food rivals any good Italian restaurant in Jersey or New York. I compare it to Angelo's on Ridge Rd. in Lyndhurst, NJ.

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  8. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    Thank you... I will message him!
     
  9. FriendofSpurgeon

    FriendofSpurgeon Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for posting. Will have to visit the next time I'm in NY and will visit Il Pescatore next time I'm up in Orlando. Love real Italian food. In fact, I've been to Italy twice in the past three years. Great people. Great food.
     
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