A Background on the Italian-American Pastries: A Speech Presentation
1. Attention step
First of all, I would like to apologize to those who know about the Italian language, please take well care of your ears as I mention different Italian terms, which probably would not even reach a twenty five percent of the speaking abilities of a native Italian.
Imagine you are in a restaurant. The tables are covered with red checkered cloths, each with Chianti bottles on the middle serving as tabletop candle holders. Served in front of you is pasta full of tomato sauce, cheese, and meatballs on top, with you an option of putting smoked salmon instead of the fatty piece of pork or beef. After this saucy experience, sfinci de riso (rice puffs) or dolcetti di mandorle (almond cookies); other choices might be torta mandorlata (almond cake) and frutta Martorana (one of which is named after the Monastery of Martorana in Palermo where it was first made) (Desalvo & Giunta, p. 5) will complete the night of Italian-American experience of mouth-watering pastries.
2. Reason to listen
I invite everyone to lend their ears as we uncover the legacy, the transformation that has undergone by the Italian food, more specifically the Italian pastries, and how it was incorporated in the tongue of the revolutionary Italian-Americans and the Americans themselves, and those of great appetite to enjoy the savory experience of the revolutionary flavors of Italy and America combined. The intermingling of the two tastes has formed a more global flavor that is tasted from the people of the low class to the royalties; changing the rampant fast foods experience to a more sophisticated appreciation of food. The cultural influences and uses of the Italian American food will also be tackled.
3. Credibility (sources)
The Italian-American connection dwells on many different perspectives, and one of the highlights is food (Viscusi 154). According to Viscusi, the Italian-American identity is marked by plenty of U.S. Italians who still up to now have imported oils and cheeses in their households (154). One of the most known Italian restaurants is the Joseph Schmidt Confections, which will indulge your senses to their most amazing chocolate sculptures in the Western setting. Just Desserts on the other hand supplies an award-winning chocolate fudge cake that puts customers in sugar-high for hours, in combination with a double cappuccino (Poole 157).
Some of their delicacies are already given sacramental importance, which means that these foods cannot be absent in most of their special occasions (Malpezzi and Clement 92). Malpezzi and Clement also mentioned about the special meals which they serve in observation of the Easter, in connection to a family gathering to enjoy the celebration. They use lambs as one of their favorite dish ingredients which can be substituted to goats and pigs. Afterwards, Italian pastries which Italian-Americans have already come to mimic, although not that perfectly, are served. Examples of these Italian pastries are the wanda and the biscotti. I would also like to mention again what other kinds of pastries are taken home during the festivities: a loaf of panettone or rice pie and the farina pie (92). Another example of their special delicacies is the Cannoli, which is prepared for Christmas and other holidays by the Italian Americans. Cannoli is filled with ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, and candies made from fruits (Malpezzi and Clement 94).
In the Italian-American communities, the wedding guests are entertained so lavishly by food, with a festive nature (D’Acierno and Leonard 98). This is evident of the cultural importance of Italian food. On the contrary, the Italian American wakes do not have this festive spirit, in the sense that they eliminate meats in their dishes. Instead, they make the event special by using more vegetables in their dishes, to somehow rejoice in the remaining time that their loved-ones is still there enjoining them in the few remaining times.
Discussing on the other point of view, the Italian American home, as they consider, is a place where there can be no point of comparison with respect to a Sunday dinner. The specialty usually goes like the grandparents cook, with browned meats added on gravy, with pig’s knuckles, brachiole, cut into different ways, either in cylinders or pinwheels.
Restaurants in other countries, America as example, even claim that they serve Italian-American food, but in fact the native tongues of Italy and those who are sensitive in the genuine tastes of these foods say that they have not reached the true identity and flavor of the Italian style. The Americans use genetically modified ingredients and sometimes excessive flavorings which destroy the original taste that the natives could only produce, from their long-time marinated ingredients, to the original flavors cultivated in Italy.
The Italian-American foods reach the high expectations of the world in terms of competitiveness with delicacies from other countries. They serve a wide range of menu that is competitive in terms of the appreciation it they food receive from people from any sphere of life dealing with different activities. It can also be stated that food is influential to culture. Even if the Italian foods are almost legendary, still it exists today as still one of the favorites of the native and foreign tongues. Italian-American foods play important roles in the community celebrations, which help in the preservation of cultural identity and gives pride to the Italians for having been successful in satisfying the taste of food enthusiasts.
4. Preview of main parts
The first part discussed about the influence of Italian food in the lives of the Americans, who up until now maintain the atmosphere of the Italian delicacies at home by using Italian ingredients. This influence brought about the existence of Italian-American foods. Pinpointed also were the well-known places and things made from the famous delicacies, like the chocolate sculptures that resemble the lingering desire of the people to eat Italian-American foods.
The cultural and ethical influences on Italian-American community were also tackled, dealing to the celebration of holidays and even the important events, examples of which are human life and death. The pride of the Italians in their list of delicacies and manner of preparation gave them the conclusion that their events, more specifically the family events are incomparable with others.
D’Acierno, Pellegrino, and George J. Leonard. The Italian American Heritage: A Companion to Literature and Arts. 1998. June 15, 2008 <http://books.google.com/books?id=Nevq7gnw-WgC>.
Desalvo, Louise, and Edvige Giunta. The Milk of Almonds: Italian American Women Writers on Food and Culture. 2002. June 16, 2008 <http://books.google.com/books?id=4r9CdS8DqTEC>.
Malpezzi, Frances M., and William M. Clements. Italian-American Folklore. 1992. June 15, 2008 <http://books.google.com/books?id=jqAps_5oo5wC>.
Poole, Matthew Richard. Frommer’s Irreverent Guide to San Francisco. 2006. June 16, 2008 <http://books.google.com/books?id=gghv7_maI3sC&pg=PA158&dq=Italian+American+Pastries&sig=lkoFXb8JkMf247-N3zW5lA_83Jc#PPA157,M1>.
Viscusi, Robert. Buried Caesars, and Other Secrets of Italian American Writing. 2006. June 15, 2008 <http://books.google.com/books?id=2VJaxmG4pK8C>.