Italian Thanksgiving, or How One Ethnic Group Resisted Americanization

Nov 25, 2019 3033

The Italian Thanksgiving in New England was and still is a piece de resistance – a masterpiece of Italian and American cooking. It’s also a result of Italian cooks who successfully resisted do-gooders trying to Americanize their food habits. An Italian Thanksgiving in the Italian cities like Waterbury, Conn., or Providence, R.I., or Revere, Mass., typically started out with antipasti – thin slices of prosciutto, salami, mortadella along with black olives and crusty bread. 

Soup followed, maybe escarole or dumpling, and lasagna or ravioli. Then came the turkey, stuffed with Italian sausage, brown gravy, potatoes, squash and cranberry sauce, washed down with homemade wine or soda for the children. And then finally dessert! Pie, torrone, spumoni, panna cotta, candy almonds, hazelnuts – topped off with roasted chestnuts.

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