When my NJ friend, Rosemary Di Giovine Vaccaro posted on Facebook: ìI love being Italian.î I had to respond. With respect to my late husband and childrenís heritage, who also love being Italian, hereís what I wrote:
Italians immigrated to Colorado in the 19th century. They found work in Denver, Pueblo, Trinidad, Colorado Springs and Louisville. My late husbandís Grandpa Roma was part of this immigration (wonder if, in some strange way, destiny directed us to the wild, wild, west).
For years we have celebrated Festival Italiano ñ A Food & Wine Festival in Belmar, Colorado and as in the past the family will again enjoy this fun filled Italian celebration.
Weíll get in the mood as soon as we see the colorful flag decorated streets and mingle with the crowds of Italian Americans and others who come to enjoy the authentic atmosphere, aromas and amora of Italy.
Weíll stroll along the mall admiring the handmade imported wares of Italian artisans, vendors who sell novelty items and perhaps buy a trinket or two to take home.
Weíll enjoy the special festivities: flag throwers from Florence, Italy, sample regional Italian wine, watch chef demonstrations, try to learn Italian, laugh at the grape stomping vat for children, cheer at gamers at the bocce ball tournament, and listen to the Italian music as we sing along and dance.
Weíll sample local and imported Italian wines and down a few beers to quench our thirst.
Weíll graze at the many food stands tasting traditional dishes like sausage & peppers, calzones, pizza, ravioli and other pasta dishes to satisfy our ethnic appetites.
Weíll take pleasure in the homemade pastriesóNapoleons, Cannoli, Cheesecake and more just because these delicious and sinful temptations are there.
Weíll nibble the traditional cookies like your grandmother made; the ones that are hard to resist óBiscotti, Spizzele, Cannoli, Zeppole, Macaroons, fig, almond, hazelnut and more, then wash it down with a cup of Esspresso.
If youíre inclined, check this out the site of last yearís gala event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voWZyE5MJSc. Enjoy the photos & music.
And just to let you know, Ro, this Irish girl from Downneck, has become a pretty good Italian cook! After years of being Italian via osmosis, collecting recipes from the whole Colella clan and cooking it all, how could I not be???
P.S. For anyone with plans of being in Colorado this Fall, Festival Italiano will take place September 11-12. Two fantastic days of Italian goodness!