NEWS FROM : GREAT LAKES  

Diane Ratliff was on the hunt for some fresh fruits and vegetables. She pushed her small shopping cart to the back of the store and picked up a package of asparagus and some baby tomatoes. Then she dropped a small container of blueberries in the cart.  "These are $1 a pack!" she said. "This would be way more expensive at the grocery store." On this...

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans will celebrate a beloved media veteran and a revered elected official at this year’s Dante luncheon. The event will take place at 11 a.m. on May 26 at Galleria Marchetti in Chicago. Radio and TV news legend Bob Sirott will receive this year’s Dante Award at the event, and Illinois Secretary of State Je...

After closing last summer, Scardina Specialties, the family-owned deli which has been serving up Italian staples like spiedini, meatball sandwiches and housemade sausages since 2012, will be reopening in a new location at 715 E. Locust St. In fact, if all goes well, the Italian deli could reopen for business as soon as mid-summer. And owner Damien...

Adolph Maestranzi was born with Down syndrome in 1951, at a time many parents were told it might be best to institutionalize a child with the condition and move on with their lives. Instead, his parents Ben and Madelyn Maestranzi raised him in a home filled with music, good food and love from his four siblings. “My brother went on to live a rich, f...

The flavors and aromas of Tuscan cuisine star at Coco Pazzo in Chicago. This year the eatery is celebrating its 30th anniversary of bringing quality Tuscan-inspired dishes to diners in the Windy City. "I'm thrilled and so appreciative that we have been embraced by the community and they've supported us throughout the past 30 years," said Jack Weiss...

In the Before Times, Daniela Vitale and Steven Jarczyk made a name for themselves selling cheesy, gooey, deep-fried rice balls at farmers’ markets. Like many nimble food businesses, their Sfera Sicilian Street Food pivoted during the pandemic, jarring sauces and delivering their arancini chilled and ready to reheat at home. In October 2020, things...

Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team did more than spotlight a piece of local history when it changed its name to the Guardians after the 2021 season. The renaming also shined light on a point of pride for the area’s Italian American community. The Guardians’ name is taken from the “Guardians of Traffic,” eight massive Art Deco sculptures that st...

Lightweight champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini will be the guest of honor at the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame’s Night at the Fights on May 5 at the Des Plaines Theatre. Olympic medalist Antonio Tarver, Junior Welterweight champ Paul “Paulie” Malignaggi and WBC Lightweight champ David Diaz will also attend, and entertainment will be p...

I absolutely love sweets. I love Italian pastries even more. I am going to let you all in on my favorite Italian bakery in Illinois. The name of this bakery is Italian Bakery in Addison. I had moved from my hometown of Melrose Park to the Wood Dale/Addison area and needed a place close to home for Italian pastries. I remember growing up and I would...

When: Tuesday, May 17 at 8:30pm CT - Where: Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL IDR (Italian Doc Remix) announces the release of Pandemonium, a new album that reconnects immigrant memory with the ritual and folkloric sources so crucial to their music. As part of their 2022 North American Tour, IDR will perform at Constellation in Chicago...

You know it's really true what they say, you learn something new every day. Of course, a popular piece of Evansville history is the legendary Mesker Park Zoo monkey ship, but did you know the monkey ship is considered a "reasonable replica" of one of Christopher Columbus' ships? I JUST learned about this the other day! Well, not about the monkey sh...

Award-winning PBS Chef, Lidia Bastianich, is returning to Dayton and Cincinnati for a variety of special events and her fans could not be more excited. Many of the opportunities to see her locally in support of PBS stations sold-out in haste, which speaks to her enormous appeal, but there are still a few opportunities to see her and hear about her...