Friday, April 29, 2022
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Monday, April 11, 2022
It's been 50 years. Fifty Years since the release of Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, a movie considered one of the greatest movies of all-time. An undisputed masterpiece by Coppola. The movie taught us many lessons, about : family, loyalty, respect, and Sauce. To be more specific Sunday Sauce, aka Gravy. The scene has Sonny Corleone, the acting Boss of the Corleone Crime Family (after his father Vito was shot), with Corleone Capo Peter Clemenza, Michael Corleone (AL Pacino - Sonny's younger brother) and other Corleone Crime Family associates all sitting around a table, eating Chinese Take-Out Food and discussing their strategy against Virgil Sollozzo and other potential enemies.
As everyone sits around, Clemenza says to Michael, "Come over here kid. Learn Something. You never know, you might have to cook for 20 guys someday. You see? You start out with a little oil. The you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, some tomato paste. You fry it, you make sure it doesn't stick. You bring it to a boil. You shove in all your Sausage, your Meatballs. Huh? Add a little wine. And a little bit of sugar. And that's my trick."
Michael watches. Sonny comes over and tells Clemenza, "Why don't you cut the crap. I got more important things for you to do."
The rest is history. The film was the highest grossing movie of 1972, earning $20 Million Dollars at the box office. The movie won universal acclaim from critics and audiences and praise for performances by Al Pacino (Michael Corleone), Marlon Brando (Don Vito Corleone), James Caan and other cast members, including Richard Castellano as Pete Clemenza. After its great success, the movie was a catalyst for the careers of Pacino and Coppola (Director / Screenwriter).
The Godfather is a movie loved by millions, especially serious movie buffs and those of the Italian community.
CLEMENZA TAUGHT US HOW to MAKE SAUCE
Yes Clemenza taught many how to make Sauce, which is also known as Gravy, and there is a hot debate over that subject in itself. Depending on your own Italian-American family, where your family comes from in Italy, and where they live in America (New York, Jersey, Philly, etc. ) these are the factors that determining whether you call it Sauce or Gravy. It really doesn't matter what you call it, whether it's Gravy, Sunday Sauce, Sauce, or Sunday Gravy, what matters is that it is delicious.
Yes we learn a few things from Clemenza, like frying the Garlic in Olive Oil, then frying the Tomatoes and Tomato Paste before you "shove in your Sausage and Meatballs. Add a little wine. A little Sugar," and that's Clemenza's trick. Well many Italian-Americans know these things, but many learned a thing or tow from CLemenza, especially the Sugar thing. All good Italians know that you add the sugar to cut a the acidity of the tomatoes, thus balancing thing out.
One big thing, is that, in the movie, Clemenza does not give us any measurements, or recipe for the Meatballs, though we do know he used two cans of tomatoes, and two cans of tomato paste, the rest is up to you, or you can go by one of a multitude of recipes, and the one most excepted, and that is Clemenza's Mob War Godfather Sunday Sauce, in the book Sunday Sauce by best selling Italian Cookbook author Daniel Bellino "Z," which we feel is the best recipe as well.
So, if you've never made it, it's high time you do. Learn how to make Clemenza's Sauce, or any other including the other great one in Mafia Cinematic History, the Prison Sauce ( reicpe in Sunday Sauce) in Martin Scorsese's film Goodfellas. We love them both of these versions of Italian-America's most beloved and important dish of all, and that is Sunday Sauce (Gravy).
"Make some today" !!!
Sunday, April 3, 2022
Friday, April 1, 2022
The Mona Lisa Italian: Gioconda is a half-length portrait painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. Considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, it has been described as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world". The painting's novel qualities include the subject's enigmatic expression, the monumentality of the composition, the subtle modelling of forms, and the atmospheric illusionism.
The painting is probably of the Italian noblewoman Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. It is painted in oil on a white Lombardy poplar panel. Leonardo never gave the painting to the Giocondo family, and later it is believed he left it in his will to his favored apprentice Salaì. It had been believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506; however, Leonardo may have continued working on it as late as 1517. It was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic. It has been on permanent display at the Louvre in Paris since 1797.
The Mona Lisa is one of the most valuable paintings in the world. It holds the Guinness World Record for the highest known painting insurance valuation in history at US$100 million in 1962 (equivalent to $870 million in 2021).
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
If you're a fan of The Sopranos, you've likely adopted the term "gabagool" after hearing the clan discuss their love of cured meats every few episodes. If you were to order gabagool at a typical restaurant, you may receive some furrowed brows, but if you're in a region with a large Italian-American population, like New Jersey, they'll have a platter of capicola in front of you in no time.
Capicola, which SBS describes as a "moist and tender" cured meat made from the neck of a pig, is a delicious addition to charcuterie platters and antipasto, and is often served alongside other Italian meats such as prosciutto and salami. While many Americans have had a taste of this salty cured meat before, they probably don't introduce it to their party guests as gabagool unless they're Italian-American. So, where in the world did this word originate from and what does it actually mean?
The word gabagool was born when a variety of Italian dialects merged, but what it translates to in Italian is: nothing. Atlas Obscura confirms that gabagool is just a mutation of the word capicola, spoken with a very specific accent.
Naples-born linguistics professor Mariapaola D'Imperio explains to Atlas Obscura that Italian linguistics is far from straightforward. The Italian language, D'Imperio notes, was initially a smorgasbord of multiple dialects. Each old Italian "kingdom" spoke its own variation of the language up until unification, when Italian officials picked one language, known as Standard Italian, to make communication easier.
Italian-Americans — those responsible for the notorious term gabagool — speak an Italian that is nowhere near Standard Italian, claims Atlas Obscura. "Instead it's a construction of the frozen shards left over from languages that don't even really exist in Italy any more, with minimal intervention from modern Italian," writes Atlas Obscura's Dan Nosowitz. Regardless of the language's progression, Italian-Americans on the East Coast can all agree that gabagool is capicola.
Over the years the Italian language in America has morphed into something new, and Italian-Americans continue to celebrate their heritage by not always speaking the language, but as Nosowitz puts it, "putting on an antiquated accent for a dead sub-language to order some cheese." Or, of course, cured meat.
That said, we're here to talk about capicola. It's just one of many types of cured meats, and it's probably one you've heard mentioned a lot on a certain sort of television show. Chances are pretty good you may have heard about it more than you've had it, and it's definitely not a more mainstream sort of cured meat, like bacon. So what, exactly, is it? It is as unhealthy — and delicious — as bacon? What makes it different from all the other types of cured meats out there? Is it as authentically Italian as it seems, or is it just pretending?
Let's find out!
Let's clear up a big one here — what exactly are you eating when you take a bite of capicola? It's actually impressively specific.
We'll start with where it comes from, and according to DePalma Salumi, capicola (or capocollo) is one of a number of types of cured Italian meats. This one comes specifically from the area of the pig between the neck and the fourth or fifth rib of the pork shoulder. That's what the word means, in fact: "capo" means "head" and "collo" means "neck." Academia Barilla gets even more specific and says the pigs of choice are at least eight months old and weigh at least 300 pounds. Traditionally, the best of the best comes from large breeds typically raised in the south of Italy.
In case you're wondering what makes this part of these pigs so special, SBS says it's all because of the fat ratio. Capicola is 30 percent fat and 70 percent lean, and that means it's both tender and moist, even after it's been cured.
Cured meats are nothing new, and capicola definitely isn't new. According to Academia Barilla, capicola goes back to the era of the colonies of the Magna Graecia... but what does that mean?
For that answer, we'll need to turn to the Ancient History Encyclopedia. The Magna Graecia were areas along the coast of southern Italy that were colonized by the Greeks between the 8th and 5th centuries BC. We did say it's been around a long, long time!
These ancient Greeks were attracted to the area by the particularly fertile lands and its perfect position within a larger trade network, and when they settled there, they made it completely Greek. Not only did they bring things like the Olympic Games
, but they also brought stuffed pork sausages. That kicked off the start of the area's deep love of all things pork, and they're still known for their large-breed pigs and their pork products today — including capicola.
Capicola, coppa, capocollo... which one is it?
These ancient Greeks were attracted to the area by the particularly fertile lands and its perfect position within a larger trade network, and when they settled there, they made it completely Greek. Not only did they bring things like the Olympic Games, but they also brought stuffed pork sausages. That kicked off the start of the area's deep love of all things pork, and they're still known for their large-breed pigs and their pork products today — including capicola.
Capicola, coppa, capocollo... which one is it?
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