Italian History

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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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...