June 28, 2013 |
* LIDIA CELEBRATES AMERICA: FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE. 10 p.m. tomorrow, WHYY12. LIDIA BASTIANICH knows how to party. In "Freedom and Independence," the latest installment of "Lidia Celebrates America," the chef, cookbook author and longtime PBS host brings viewers along for a trip that takes her from a Fourth of July naturalization ceremony at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello to the marking of Juneteenth - also known as Emancipation Day...
May 10, 2013 |
After serving as a teenage Army sergeant during World War II, Alfred Ciccotelli returned to South Philadelphia to help his parents run their grocery store at Seventh and Montrose Streets, two blocks east of the Italian Market. It was a modest-enough life that he lived above the store with his parents, who had emigrated from the regions of Abruzzi and Campania. But in 1963, he founded what has become the nationwide Italian food importer and distributor of Cento Fine Foods, headquartered in West Deptford, a firm that now employs more than 150 workers.
June 3, 2012 |
ROME - They twirled, they sniffed, they slurped, they chewed. The dozen homemakers who gathered at a Rome hotel on a recent afternoon took their work terribly seriously, rating plates of pasta for chewiness, saltiness, gumminess, or done-ness - that perfect balance known as al dente, or firm to the bite. Pasta is serious business in Italy, and the recent blind taste test by the world's biggest pasta-maker drove home that an awful lot of thought goes into making the simple combination of durum wheat semolina and water from which Italy's national dish is made.
May 3, 2012 |
Twenty years ago, Girasole on Locust Street just off 13th Street was the stylish go-to Italian spot for theatergoers. After it packed its tent in 2004 — it reopened in 2009 at Broad and Pine Streets — the space housed a series of sketchy nightspots. Now, with the neighborhood on the upswing — you have Fish on the opposite corner, Green Eggs Cafe next door, and a strip of hot restaurants around the corner (Sampan, Barbuzzo, Jamonera, Zavino, etc.) — the building is going the stylish Italian route again.
February 23, 2012 |
Angela, my Italian grandmother, defied stereotypes in the most disappointing way - she wasn't much of a cook. A first-generation American, she learned authentic Italian cooking from her mother, who hailed from the Abruzzi region of Italy. But good training didn't stop Angela from substituting waxy slices of American cheese for fresh mozzarella, if it was cheaper or easier. Depression-era anxiety and a meager family budget stalked her through the supermarket. And, though it was nearly unheard of in her Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood in the 1950s and '60s, she held down a full-time job while raising her family.
June 17, 2010 |
BEING THE daughter of Italian immigrants, Philomena Coppola Kelley knew how to cook Italian food, of course. But was she also expected to be able to build a patio by hand? This remarkable woman could do both. Whether rolling out her own pasta or mixing cement, Philomena was the expert. In addition, she raised four children and put them all through college, helped raise six grandchildren, lifted her beautiful singing voice in a church choir and liked to test her luck at bingo and Atlantic City casinos.
April 25, 2010 |
For most people, the meatball says it all. Red, round, and spicy, it symbolizes Italian food and culture for a lot of Americans. "You don't know the new Italy," lamented Giorgio Galanti, from Milan. "Americans are connected to the old country from years ago. You need some new suggestions about what Italy is today. " At Reading Terminal Market's first-ever Italian festival on Saturday, Galanti, a cultural officer with the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia, tried to convince people that his culture is more than chopped meat on a mound of pasta.
January 3, 2008 |
Everybody loves Italian food, and this year it seemed as though most cookbook authors felt they owned a piece of it. Three of 2007's finest works on cucina Italiana bore near-identical titles: "[Given name]'s Italy. " 'Nuff said, clearly, especially since each of these works successfully captures the peninsula and its people as aptly as the zabaglione and zuppa di pesce. Lidia Bastianich, the engaging if slightly imperious TV host (check out her daughter Tanya's "not again, Mom" takes on their PBS shows; classic stuff)
August 31, 2007 |
Pasta, pasta, bread, pizza and pasta. An Italian restaurant is a minefield for anyone with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that destroys the lining of the small intestine when wheat gluten is ingested. Often misdiagnosed, celiac disease is estimated to affect about 2 million individuals. Also, many parents of children with autism and Asperger's syndrome have discovered eating a gluten-free diet is helpful. So, Pasquale Masters, Skip Elmer and John Fina added a gluten-free menu at their Voorhees, N.J. restaurant, Pasta Pomodoro.
April 17, 2005 |
New Hope resembles a miniature San Francisco with its uneven streetscape and crooked roads. It has a similar countercultural feel, although in recent years, it has undergone its own kind of gentrification. Biker bars have become sports bar hangouts, and funky shops selling handmade candles and patchouli oil have given way to upscale stores selling designer jewelry or kitchenwares. Of course, the town still conveys that dated word funkiness - thank goodness. Among New Hope's dozens of eateries, Esca Restaurant & Bar might best reflect the mixed bag that is New Hope.