Food and Frank, or should I say Italian Food and Frank? You know that it’s just gotta be Italian? The food that is. Well it’s hard for me to write about Italian Food, and Italian-American Food to be more specific, and not talk about the great one Frank Sinatra and his presence at our many meals. We’re Italian-American and we love Frank Sinatra, the man and his music, it’s a requirement and absolute must of any true blooded Italian-American, if you are, then you’ve just gotta love Frank, he’s the undisputed most beloved Italian-American of All-Time and that’s all there is to it. Now as most of you know, Frank Sinatra was and still is Italian-America’s most iconic personality of all, we revere him in an almost God-like fashion. Yes Frank Sinatra is almost God-like to we Americans of Italian ancestry and that’s that. He was one of the 20th Century’s greatest entertainers to most American people whether they are Italian or not. And to we Italians he was # 1 and without question the single greatest entertainer and singer of them all. Yes we love the man and his music, which always was just flawless. The sounds of Sinatra would always be playing at our dinner parties and just about anytime of the day, “no matter what we were doing, it just had to be Frank.”From the time I was just a young boy my mother Lucia played her Sinatra records all, I listened and I loved. Mommy also loved the great Italian-American singers like; Dean Martin, Al Martino, Jerry Vale, and Tony Bennett. So as young children we grew up with the sounds of Sinatra as well as those of our contemporary artists like The Beatles, Pop Music, R&B, and Rock-N-Roll. We loved it all. Most kids just like the music of the day (Rock & Roll and whatnot), but we the Italian kids loved Sinatra as well, it was in our blood, our DNA, we always listened to Frank when our parents played his records on the Hi-Fidelity phonograph. My Aunts Fran and Aunt Helen would be playing Sinatra albums on their big console record player of the 60s as we arrived at their homes for our weekly Sunday meals. These meals were an all day affair that included; Antipasti, Pasta, Sunday Sauce Gravy, Italian Pastries, coffee, and the sounds of, “you guessed it,” Sinatra. This was a combination that in itself was iconic Italian-American and just could not be beat, those meals with our tasty Italian-American Food, friends and family and the beautiful soothing music of one Francis Albert Sinatra, as well as Dino, and Jerry Vale too. Yes we had many meals with Frank playing in the background as we ate Meatballs, Braciole, Sausages, and Cannoli. Can you beat that? I don’t think so, it’s Frank, Family, and Food, the 3 F’s of Italian-America. So when you cook and invite friends and family over for some pasta, Sunday Sauce, or whatever, be sure to put Frank on and your experience will be complete. Sinatra, friends, family, and pasta, what’s better?
EXCERPTED From "MANGIA ItALIANO" by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke