Tracing the Evolution of Italian-American Cuisine

Native Italians don't typically approve of Italian-American food, but hey, the old rules were made to be broken.

The following article, written by Frankie Celenza, appears on The Huffington Post.

Italian-American Food Never Claimed To Be Italian, So You Can Stop Hating On It

A lot of Italians don’t approve of America’s spaghetti and meatballs. Here’s why that doesn’t really matter.

Most Americans don’t see a difference between Italian food and Italian-American food, but native Italians sure do.

They’re often perplexed by the size of our dishes, the quantity of ingredients and the recipe rule-breaking we Americans commit, sometimes going so far as to ask, “This is a joke, right?”

But I grew up eating Italian-American food, unaware of its digressive autonomy from the Motherland. It wasn’t right or wrong; it was just the Italian food I grew up with … and I loved it.

But in 2006, everything changed.

An obsession with all things Italian led me down the rabbit hole to real Italian or Italian-Italian food. The history and myths of Italy’s classic dishes ignited my passion for red sauce.

Suddenly, all things became black and white, right and wrong, with no wiggle room. In my mind, Italian-American food became a blasphemous amalgamation of ingredients I was embarrassed my countrymen had peddled for as long as they had.

Now, my stance on the issue has changed and in order to make my argument for Italian-American cuisine, we must first talk about Italian food and culture. Continue reading at The Huffington Post. 


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