Italians and Food

Paul Morrone |

There is something to be said about being Italian and having an obsession with food. One item that is part of the Italian culture and heritage is a very commonly used phrase, “Eat! Eat! ”. I can still hear my mom and my aunts saying those magical words. Those words also are part of who I am, part of my childhood years and as a result were part of the childhood of our children as well. What is funny to me is Cathy who is Irish, French and English has caught the Italian food fever from me over the years. When planning any type of a gathering at our house, she inevitably says at some point, “we need to have more food”. I can say this with some certainty that no one has ever left our home hungry or ever will.

So many great memories fill my mind of the holiday feasts throughout the years. You did not sit down and eat a meal. You claimed a spot at the table that was your general eating area for the next 4 – 6 hours. There were all the courses, antipasto, bread, soup, some type of pasta, turkey, ham or roast beef (depending on the holiday) with all the fixings, at least 3-4 desserts, nuts and fruit and Sambuca and espresso. Of course there was wine on the table the entire day. There was the occasional get up and walk around the house to make room for the next course. Weather depending, a walk around the block did wonders. Lasagna seemed to be a staple. Unless you asked for a sliver, you got a slab on your dish that could double as a cornerstone for any tall building.

Food brings comfort and comfort brings laughter and laughter creates memories. The Italians figured this out so long ago. Of course I tend to be biased on this but Italian food is my favorite. Even within the general category of Italian there are so many sub categories. Pasta into itself has so many choices such as cavatelli, gnocchi, linguini, spaghetti, pappardelle, fettuccini and ziti just to name a few. Then you have the fish, veal, eggplant and chicken dishes. Everything is better with a Bolognese sauce or parmigiana style. Who does not love fried calamari? I am getting hungry.

I recently hosted an early morning business meeting at the office and the purpose of the meeting was to introduce two businesses to each other because I believed there were some benefits for the owners to know about each other. Ironically all the people attending were Italian. My food obsession kicked in. Should there be food? What type of food and how much? There was more anxiety about the food than about the meeting itself. I went with fruit because after all it was a morning meeting. I even joked about the food that morning and said my mother would have haunted me from the grave if I did not serve food. We all had a good laugh and it seemed to set the tone for the meeting.

Maybe it is just me but I love to eat. There is usually a nice glass of wine nearby as well. Eat! Eat!

Until the Next Tom’s Take…