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October 12, 2012     Post-Gazette
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October 12, 2012

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Page 12 POST, GAZETTE, OCTOBER 12, 2012 Ray. Barron'e 11 O'CLOCK NEW5 My dear mother always served her family Italian food. Once when I asked how come we never eat American food she replied, "My dear son, some day the Americans will learn that Italian food is the best food." Yes! She was right! We Americans discov- ered Italian food is truly the greatest! Today pizza is the country's most popular food and is served in more than 60,000 pizza joints. To cel- ebrate America's love for the cheese-and-tomato pie, Brian Dwyer has opened, Pizza Brain in Philadelphia -- the world's first museum dedicated to all things pizza. The 28 year-old has gathered together vintage pizza boxes, magazine .covers and other pizza-related memorabilia in his gallery. Hundreds turned up for opening night -- and some slices. 'q'hat's why pizza is so powerful -- it's inher- ently communal," Dwyer said, "Pizza is one of the few things everyone can agree on." Which reminds me, in England, pizza is called a tomato pie. Reminder! The average American who enjoys eating Italian food also enjoys a glass of Italian wine: Chianti, Ruffino, Bolla, Barola, Bar- dolino, Lambrusco, Soave and Valpolicella. After dinner they can enjoy sipping Sambuca, Amaretto, Strega, Compari or one of the many varieties of stock brands. We all love ice cream! Americans enjoy countless flavors of ice cream but many Americans are not aware that it originated in Florence, Italy in the 16 th century as a sorbet, or ice water. In 1660 an Italian, Procopio Coltelli, a limonadier (lemon vendor) in Paris, created a special churn for the manufacture of ices. Coltelli's new mecha- nism made it easy for him to mass produce a sorbet from chilled lemonade. The next time you order scoops of ice cream in a cone be aware of the fact that the ice cream cone was cre- ated in 1896 by an Italian immigrant, Italo Marcioni in New Jersey. Italo was astute enough to have the mold pat- ented on December 13, 1903. Let me stop here since it would require a minimum of three hundred pages to en- lighten you on why and how America has become Italianized. Ah, the Italianization of America! We created a fea- ture story about the Italian- ization of America and it ap- peared exclusively here in the Post-Gazette on July 5, 1995. In brief, be aware in the Middle Ages, Italians were the first to use a fork, the first to wash their hands before a meal and one of the first to prepare food using the fresh- est of ingredients. One only has to think of all the foods they enjoy to come to the conclusion Italian food dominates their tables: pasta, pizza, bread, Parmesan cheese, sundried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, porcini, mushrooms, polenta, osso bucco, prosciutto, min- estrone -- the list is endless. We have become Italian- ized only because no other culture offered Americans a wide variety of eating plea- sures, well designed cars, clothing, furniture, jewelry and countless other products. The Italian cultural arts have kept Americans inspired and entertained. Perhaps one of the major reasons why we have be- come Italianized is because of the close to 20-million Ital- ian Americans we have as friends, neighbors and fellow Americans. Reminder! On January 1, 1934, Fiorello LaGuardia took over the office of Mayor of the City of New York, the first Italian-American to hold such a high political position. The founder of the popular Bank of America was Amadeo Peter Giannini, the son of Italian immigrants. It would require many pages to de- scribe and list his accom- plishments. A.P. Giannini's contribution to American fi- nance is an important one. He turned a tiny investment into the largest privately owned bank in the world be- cause of faith and trust in the common man. There is no profession in America to which Italian- Americans are not employed. They are artists, scientists, university professors, jour- nalists, clergymen, judges, politicians, teachers, law- yers, doctors, social workers, designers, builders, engi- neers and master craftsmen. More proof of the Italian- ization of America: Most American housewives and restaurants serve pasta, macaroni, ravioli and lasa- Happy Columbus Day 2q Green Cross Pharmacy FARMACIA CROCE VERDE J. Giangregorio, Reg. Ph. - F. Giangregorio, Reg. Ph. 393 Hanover Street, Boston, Mass. Tel: 617-227-3728 Professional Dependability - Accuracy - Service r 0 0 0 gna. They use Parmesan cheese, Romano, gorgonzola, ricotta, mozzarella, provolone, bel paese and salami. The popularity of dinner wine is a direct Italian-American influ- ence. And nowadays who doesn't like those "all-Ameri- can" dishes -- spaghetti and pizza? Weird! When Christopher Manacci helped bandage a stranger's badly wounded hand on a fishing trip in 2003, the nurse practitioner assumed hd'd never see him again. But eight years later, Manacci saved the same ran- dom stranger's life. Manacci stopped his car last week to help Gerald Gronowski repair a tire in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, moments later, an out-of- control pickup truck came roaring down the road. The truck rammed into Man- acci's car, which acted as a barrier shielding Gronowski and his son. Only after the crash did Gronowski recog- nize his two-time savior, "It's really quite a miracle," said Manacci. Each year hundreds of thou- sands of visitors touring the Capitol Building in Washing- ton, D.C. marvel at the many beautiful murals on its walls. All of these murals and fres- coes were painted a hundred years ago by Constantino Brumidi, one of the greatest and most gifted Italian artists. Brumidi spent nearly twenty- five years of his life working on these murals, bringing the traditional mural art of his homeland to the walls of the Capitol of his new country. Ah, autumn! Nature cannot jump from winter to summer without a spring, or from summer to winter without a fall. Wee bit of show biz by the stately musicologist Albert Natale. Concetta Franconero was studying psychology at Rutgers when her father sug- gested she record the old favorite, "Who's Sorry Nov ")" The psychology worked mo the record (1957) sold more than a million copies within six months. Born December 12, 1938 in Newark, New Jersey, Connie sang and played the accordion at ben- efits, church socials, and other community functions. After winning Arthur God- frey's Talent Scouts first prize, she began to sing in cocktail lounges around the country. Miss Francis' other memorable songs are: "My Happiness", "Everybody's Somebody's Fool", "Mama", and "Where the Boys Are." She has traveled literally all over the world and appeared with such television stars as Jimmie Rodgers, Dick Clark, Perry Como, Jack Benny and Ed Sullivan. Her first film was "Where the Boys Are" (1960). Concetta has done it all! Bless hell AMERICA IS A BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN NAME Recipes From the Homeland by Vita Orlando Sinopoli COPYRIGHT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED MAMA'S RICOTTA 3 cups unbleached flour (preferably King Arthur or Gold Medal) 1 beaten egg GNOCCHI (Pasta) 1 teaspoon salt 1 pound ricotta whole milk cheese 4 quarts boiling salted water In a bowl mix ricotta cheese, beaten eggs and salt. Add flour gradually to the mixture, mixing by hand, until dough is soft. Remove dough from bowl and place dough on a floured pastry board to knead. If dough sticks to your fingers or hands, add a little flour and continue kneading until the dough is soft, smooth and pliable. Cut and roll portions into long 8- or 10-inch roils of about one-inch thickness. Place in bowl and cover. Taking one roll at the time, flatten roll slightly with your hand or a roiling pin. Cut into one-inch portions. With index and middle fingertips, press into each piece of dough and roll fingers forward in the dough. This will curl the dough into gnocchi. Continue until all dough is used. For cooking gnocchi, boil about 4 quarts of salted water. After dropping gnocchi into the boiling water, stir and cover. Watch carefully because water boils over quickly. Gnocchi will float to the top as they cook. They cook rapidly. Check for consistency desired. Drain and place in a bowl. Add your tomato sauce and serve. Serves four. NOTE: I love the memories of watching my parents make homemade macaroni in our home. They didn't seem to have a written recipe. It was all stored in their minds. Through the years, I decided their recipes should be written out. I watched Mama measure out the flour, add the water or beaten eggs and all the necessary ingredients for gnocchi. Papa kneaded the dough. Mama always took out her extra-long wooden rolling pin when the dough had to be rolled into thin round portions before Papa could fold it and then cut it into linguine. For gnocchi, Papa cu t up the dough after kneading it. Mama, with her fingers, patiently formed the small portions of cut-up dough into gnocchi. Before my brother Peter and I knew it, the home- made macaroni was ready to serve at noontime for Sunday dinner. They always made it seem that it was such a pleasure serving homemade macaroni, and it was. Vita can be reached at voswriting @ II II Happ.v Columbus Day from VITA SINOPOLI Happy Columbus Day HANOVER DRY CLEANERS AL TERA TIONS - DRY CLEANING - SHIRT LAUNDRY MICHELLE NGUYEN, TAILOR AND OWNER HANOVERDRYCLEANERS @ GMAIL.COM 306 HANOVER STREET, BOSTON, MA 02113 617.742.0800 I st Generation Italian-American Vim Orlando Sinopoli Shares with us a delightful recollection of her memories as a child growing up in Boston's "Little Italy" and a collection of Italian family recipes from the homeland. Great as Gifts FROM MY BAKERY PERCH available on AMAZON.COM and in local bookstores -- ask for Hard cover #1-4010-9805-3 ISBN Soft Cover #1-4010-9804-5 ISBN