Saturday, June 15

Month: June 2022


The Italian Hello

A 1942 photo of Italian Americans on MacDougal Street in Lower Manhattan. Marjory Collins / Library of Congress We joke among ourselves at Pummarola about the Italian Hello. Even when we have pressing business, it takes at least 20 minutes to get past our greetings to one another. This labeling is the sort of thing that can get an ethnic group a bad reputation, but we didn’t come to it intentionally. Like so many cultural attributes, the Italian Hello found us. It’s an impulse we might  bury when around certain other groups, but left to our own devices, we’d gladly spend 40 minutes saying hello on a serious call, 10 minutes discussing the actual reason for the call, and another 40 minutes saying goodbye. (And we’d start 15 minutes late, btw.) The Italian Hello is a way by which...

Healing Through Colors: Reflections by Annie Lanzillotto

Hear artist, memoirist, and poet Annie Lanzillotto discuss the surprising ways that art inspires and heals over a lifetime. This conversation marks the inaugural episode of a new broadcast series announced earlier this year by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is republished from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Frame of Mind podcast series. Frame of Mind explores connections between art and wellness from a range of individual experiences and perspectives. The short-form, 11-episode weekly series is available free on The Met’s website and on demand across all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Overcast, and Spotify. The podcasts are made possible by Dasha Zhukova Niarchos and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Click to listen: ...
The Pizza Oven
Stracciatella: A Sprinkling of This & That

The Pizza Oven

by Joanna Clapps Herman Editor's note: This is part two of the "Minestra" series by Ms. Clapps Herman, a series of narratives built around recipes from her family.  This is my mother speaking about making the weekly bread each week. Someone just told me that during the depression 20 to 30 men might come on any given day for a plate of macaroni, a glass of wine and my grandmother's bread. They'd work for their meal. That's how all of the stone walls were built on the farm. The Oven We made the dough the night before we baked our bread for the week on Saturday. My father bought hundred pound bags of flour for my mother to use. She filled the cong’, the big pan, with flour, one part whole wheat and two parts white flour and a little semolina. We put the cong’ up on a stool. ...
I Am A Cuban Sandwich
Bella Figura: On Italian American Identity

I Am A Cuban Sandwich

The life and origins of an Italian-Cuban-Spanish Floridian by Mary-Ellen and Richard DiPietra Editor's note: What follows is an excerpt from I Am A Cuban Sandwich. NONNO In the Pais Vasco, the Basque Country, a small region in the rugged mountains of Northern Spain, a young girl spoke to a young man, words that would change everything. “Yes” She said. Then she did something no one in her tight-knit family had ever done before. She left….for America. At the same time stone mason from Alessandro della Rocca, Sicily had just come over to the states and landed somehow in Kankakee, IL, when he received word from relatives that a new movie house was being built in Tampa, Florida. This grand palace was to be in a Mediterranean design and they were looking for Old World craftsmen w...