Food, Glorious Food!

4. Now what would an article like this, written by this little Italian sentimentalist, be worth without discussing pasta, right?

Now remember, I’m 100 percent purebred so, of course, were my mom and grandma. But I MARRIED a purebred, too, and the one thing all traditional Italian women take pride in is their sauce–or “gravy” as my brethren call it in New York. So I gotta be careful here–please understand. Forget about it.

Over the years, my research has revealed that all three of them cook very akin to their Italian regions. My wife’s family comes from Naples, my mother’s from Calabria and Abruzzi. Those influences are very distinct.

Grandma and Mom’s sauce were heavier, thicker, and their aroma filled the air so that you could smell them outside. My wife’s sauce is thinner, cleaner, and more subtle. Each is unique, and I like them all, but each conjures up different memories, different emotions.

Grandma hasn’t been around since the early 1980s. I can still “taste” her sauce in my mind, and it makes me miss her when I think about it.

Mom’s was the taste of home–the emotion of safety, time with my sisters, parents, the family dog sleeping by the fireplace.

And when I taste my wife’s, it is the taste of MY home, the life I have made with my wife and children and our big extended Italian family. It is home and hearth. It is love, and it is wonderful.

No matter what your heritage, there are special foods and meals. Embrace the difference that makes you and yours unique! Do yourself a favor and attach those memories permanently in your mind. It’s a piece of the puzzle that should be treasured.

Bon appetit! Vive la difference!

Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at rdc@clevelandmetroparks.com.

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3 comments on “Food, Glorious Food!

  1. Gloria De La Cruz-Sandoval on said:

    Family, Friends and Food – Yes, this is where all the memories worth keeping are…-g-

  2. Very bold of you to compare and discuss the merits of Italian ladies’ sauces…Hope you live to see next week!

  3. M.A. Penton on said:

    Hmmm. Painting with words here! Very good job! I’m sure kids in camps also relate to these or other emotions when served meals in the dining hall . .

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