My heritage on both sides of my family is Italian. My mother's family is from Naples and Bari. My father's family is from a mountain town in Calabria. When you talk to other people with Italian backgrounds you don't talk about being Italian; you talk about the region your family is from...my family is Neapolitan and Puglian. My father's family are Calabriese or Capatostas (thick head, stubborn) in Italian dialect.
You see, Italy wasn't a unified country until around 1870 and even then travel, especially in the undeveloped South, was very hard. Every area practically spoke another language. I remember visiting Venice in 1979 and the dialect sounded Germanic.
It is only now with unified media that Italians all pretty much speak the same.. but their cooking well it differs greatly by region. The North uses butter, polenta, and vegetables like fennel. We were never allowed to eat pasta with butter when I was a kid. "Southern Italians don't do that." my mother would say. "Polenta... that's Northern!"
Italian-American cuisine is based on Southern Italian cooking which is rich in RED sauce. I have to say by the time I was ready to go away to college, I was ready for a break from red sauce. But the classic Italian-American dishes are wonderful:
|Poor Man's Lasagna |
Not until the 1980's did authentic Italian cooking really start to take off in the United States. Until this time we all were clinging to our comforting Italian-American cuisine which is based mostly on canned tomatoes, garlic and oregano because the fresh aromatic herbs of Italy: basil, parsley, etc. were not readily available on the East Coast of the United States were most of the Italian American population can be found. Now people don't blink over dishes like:
|Fried Goat Cheese Beet & Lentil Salad|
|Giambotta: Italian Summer Stew|
|Brushetta : Tomato Salad|
I hope you have enjoyed your trip to Italy. If you would like to stay a little longer it's OK. When the food and the wine are good there is always...
On June 13th be sure to visit Cooking Around the World to see what my fellow travelers are cooking up from Italy.
|Bloggers Around the World Link|
MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT THIS GIVEAWAY I AM INVOLVED WITH:
Weekly Menu Plan:
Sunday: Sushi out
Meatless Monday: Black Beans (w/ red onion, cilantro & lime) Wild Rice and Avocado
Tuesday: Chicken Soup with Quinoa
Wednesday: Falafel with Pita, Tomato, Yogurt/Tahini Dressing, and Red Onions
Thursday: Poached Salmon with a Dill Sauce, New Potatoes boiled with Butter and Kale
Saturday: Pork Ragu with Pappardelle & Green Salad
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