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Italian History Essay

1595 words - 6 pages

How has Italian American Cuisine Become Different than Italian Cuisine? There has always been a very strong connection between Italians and food. If there is one thing that connects Italians all over the world it is the love of their food. Food in Italian families is used to celebrate special occasions and honor special guests. And still today Americans with Italian descent make connections with their culture through food. However, if the average American who considered himself Italian went to Italy he would be lost in an entirely different culinary world.At the base of this relationship there are the most important parts, bread and wine. Both are to be highly respected and cherished, bread was the staple in all of the Italians diets except for the extremely wealthy. It was the wife's first responsibility to make sure that there was bread on the table, and like wise with the husband and the wine. There was also a lot of superstition surrounding bread, more so than wine. Each loaf of bread was blessed with the sign of cross before being eaten. Bread was never placed upside down nor pierced with a knife or fork. Bread was always the first thing to be brought into a house, and apiece was always left there to prevent famine. (D'Acierno112) Wine in Italy was drank every day by all members of the family. "Un giorno senza vino e come giorno senza sole." A day without wine is like a day without sunshine, is a proverb that clearly expresses the relationship between Italians and their wine. This was a very different view than of the one in America. In Italy drinking wine was no different than drinking water. This was contrary to America's prohibition beliefs that alcohol weakens the soul and was quite shocking to the Italians who entered the country during that time. The quality of food ingredients is something that is intertwined with Italians and their culture. All food was respected and treated with great care. Shopping was done each day to guarantee freshness. Items were also purchased in the most natural state to lessen the number of hands that would touch the product; instead of buying chicken pieces from the butcher, it would be preferable to buy the live chicken. Along with the desire for quality the types of food eaten would separate people into different class levels. ""They are very poor," gossiped the neighbors. "they eat fave foglie." (mashed beans and greens)". (Williams 54) Cooked grains and cereals were for farm animals and would be thrown away instead of being eaten. Commercially canned meats and vegetables were also frowned upon and only eaten as a last resort. Early Italian immigration started around 1621. These early immigrants were mostly invited to the British colonies for their skills in glass and silk working. The next stage of immigration took place between the founding of the American republic in 1783 and the establishment of modern Italy in 1871. Unlike the mass migration of...

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