As an Italian-American, I was and am still told by my mother, grandparents, and great-grandparents how proud I should be of my heritage. I was taught to respect my great-grandmother who, after arriving in America along side her husband, fully committed herself to raising her four sons and eight nieces and nephews in a two-bedroom house in Pennsylvania. She was motivated by the drive of a better life in a new, strong country for the young-ones she loved. I was taught to treasure both food and family, praying each night through the Blessed Mother. I was handed Pizzelles and Almond cookies as snacks throughout the day, and listened to Dean Martin through the stereo almost every night. My grandmother’s family came from Mezzogiorno, while my grandfather’s family hailed from the North Country. Though I had never been to Italy, as a child, I still knew the significance of being Italian and was thankful. It was not until I entered public school that I began to understand the teasing that my own ethnic group was subject to on a near daily basis.
In Jessica Harris’s “The Culinary Season of my Childhood” she peels away at the layers of how food and a food based atmosphere affected her life in a positive way. Food to her represented an extension of culture along with gatherings of family which built the basis for her cultural identity throughout her life. Harris shares various anecdotes that exemplify how certain memories regarding food as well as the varied characteristics of her cultures’ cuisine left a lasting imprint on how she began to view food and continued to proceeding forward. she stats “My family, like many others long separated from the south, raised me in ways that continued their eating traditions, so now I can head south and sop biscuits in gravy, suck chewy bits of fat from a pigs foot spattered with hot sauce, and yes’m and no’m with the best of ‘em,.” (Pg. 109 Para). Similarly, since I am Jamaican, food remains something that holds high importance in my life due to how my family prepared, flavored, and built a food-based atmosphere. They extended the same traditions from their country of origin within the new society they were thrusted into. The impact of food and how it has factors to comfort, heal, and bring people together holds high relevance in how my self-identity was shaped regarding food.
Understanding different cultures: talk about how cuisines related to culture. What’s the most popular dessert in Europe, and particularly in Italy? Which countries are affected by Europe?
The Italians’ holiday culture helped to make America a more diverse nation. Their family-centered culture and regional affiliations resulted in highly concentrated settlements called, Little Italies. Entire villages in Italy would travel over to America to form these settlements. Many were heavily clustered in cities in the mid-atlantic and midwest states. The immigrants typically viewed themselves as residents of a particular region or village, not as “Italians.” Their daily habits and life reflected this, as they usually only associated with fellow kin or villagers called paesani. The Italians were working on becoming a member of American society while still trying to maintain their old customs. During holidays, Italian immigrants still utilized traditional customs such as folk songs, folklore, and dances for special events. However, like so many of the Italian aspects of life, they were so regionally specific that they defied easy characterization.
Growing up in a small town has the advantage of being a close-knit community, unfortunately this also meant that exposure to foreign delicacies is not a common occurrence. As a child, I developed a strong dislike for any foods that I viewed as abnormal, and became quite a finicky eater. Thus, my familiarity with Italian food is somewhat limited to restaurant dishes, and recipes that friends exuberantly claim to be a crime if not made. While being a student in Victoria, I have had the opportunity to live in various different areas, some of which were next door to outdoor markets. Much like the markets described by Braimbridge et al.,(2005) in The Food of Italy, the bread was baked fresh daily, the produce fresh and locally
In The Culinary Seasons of my Childhood, Jessica B. Harris- the author- attempts to help readers understand the relationship between food and identity. Harris gave a detailed, but relevant, description of how how food portrayed different cultures in her life and how it taught her many lessons about her family history and who she is; she also described how food brings people together as one and creates a connection that nothing else can. The author helps readers initially understand her ideas by showing examples of how food, even in the same culture, can reflect different social classes.“ Even though chitterlings might be on the menu, they could equally likely be accompanied by a mason jar of corn liquor or a crystal goblet of champagne”( Harris
Spending much of her childhood in the German Coast of Acadiana, Darleen Jenkins holds on tightly to her family traditions. Moving from Luling to Houma, down to Dularge and back up to Houma again, she has been able to spot differences in the regions’ foods based on both time and place. She reminisces fondly of times when her family came together to share in meals and memories. Speaking with her one couldn’t help but to want to hear more about her childhood and transitions through adulthood.
While examining a culture, most people would typically think of the language, religion, style of dress, and customs of that particular group, but some people fail to realize the importance of that culture’s food. During the late 1800s and early-mid 1900s, many various ethnic and cultural groups immigrated to the United States and brought with them their cuisine. In the novel Hungering for America: Italian, Irish, and Jewish Foodways in the Age of Migration by Hasia R. Diner, the ways of which American culture has shaped the food culture of immigrants in the US and how their foods influenced American cuisine. There were two prominent groups—Italians and Irish—that immigrated to the US that were either greatly influenced and/or influenced by
The Italian population in America originally emigrated from the southern half of the Italian peninsula. The people of this region were peasants and had experienced great economic hardships under the rule of the Spanish and then the Italian government and nobles from the north. It was these economic hardships that formed much of their culture. According to Maggio (2015) Italians from the southern region felt a strong obligation to their families and did not trust outsiders. As Italian families began immigrating to America they had a difficult time assimilating into American culture because of their mistrust of outsiders and their desire to maintain their family traditions. Maggio (2015) stated that “Little Italy’s” began in several major
Chapter six talks about the influences of northern and southern ethnic groups on American foods and foods habits. The introduction of these foods and its contact with other culture’s food is what is considered to be the characteristics of the American diet. The author also shed light on where certain immigrants were coming from providing evidence that most of the northern Europe countries were countries of the Great Britain, Ireland, and France. The southern European countries, on the other hand, included Spain, Portugal, and Italy. Kittler et al. Provide compelling evidence to support their argument though food preparation may differ in the countries, the ingredients and influences tend to be the same. For instances in Great Britain and Ireland
Cuisine is a big factor in the identity of a culture and many people will list food as a factor that makes a country what it is, even using Damper for an example, many people see it is an Australian classic and part of Australia's history. Analysing these two iconic recipes, we can begin to view what kinds of communication is used and
“The Italian Americans” is a documentary that explains the immigration of Italians to America in the 1800 and 1900s. Italian Americans have a deep devotion to their families and family life. It is theorized that the family structure originates from the idea that you can only trust the family. People from southern Italy were not treated as equals by the government, and many southern Italian families were impoverished and struggling to survive. Consequently, the largest group of Italian immigrants in America came from southern Italy. Italian men worked on the plantations and in the heart of the industrial factories (Maggio, 2015).
Say “pizza” and images of stone baking ovens filled with aromatic Italian spices comes to mind for many, especially for those who are fans of old-style baking methods. Although many of America’s food customs have been influenced by its immigrants - think Chinese, Mexican, and Japanese - Italian foods remain among the most popular. In some respects, especially in places like New York, it’s not just real Italian pizza that people are after, but rather, New York-style pizza. These eateries range from the little delis on the street corner to the bigger restaurants down the East Coast like Ynot Italian. All of them satisfy the American love of food adventures, and in the process, remind us of our delicious roots.
Growing up in a big Italian family, food has always played a large role throughout my entire life. Whether it was helping my mom and grandma make meatballs for Sunday dinners, having the traditional seven fishes on Christmas Eve or making trips to Little Italy, food has always been the common ground to bring my family together.
This paper will discuss the multifaceted relationships among food, and culture. I will be looking at the relationships people have with food, and explore how this relationship reveals information about them. Their food choices of individuals and groups, can reveal their ideals, likes and dislikes. Food choices tell the stories of where people have travelled and who they have met along the way.