On Wednesday March 24 took place at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò the second meeting sponsored by the GRI – Gruppo Ristoratori Italiani, named “Genuinely Italian”. A trip through Italian-American food culture, which will continue, with other meetings, during the entire year.
The goal of this event was to allow the Italian-American audience to discover the roots and evolutions of a unique and old gourmet world started by the first Italian immigrants and loved by everybody else for many generations.
“The History of Italian Cuisine in New York City” was the name of the conference, which was hosted by John Mariani, a journalist and author of more than 10 books on food, wine & gastronomy.
Mr. Mariani presented to the entertained audience his life-long work regarding the history of Italian cuisine. This long research has become a fascinating book: “Stretching the sauce: how Italian food conquered the world”.
Starting from the Roman Empire, running through the Middle Ages, and analyzing the first Italian-American immigration movement and ending in the early days, he showed how the perception of Italians and their food have changed throughout the times.
He also helped us to understand this phenomenon through the point of view of cinematography, which captured with particular sensibility Italy's common sense within American society.
After his interesting presentation, John Mariani was interviewed by Tony May, owner of San Domenico and founder of the GRI, and afterwards both answered questions from the audience, curious to understand if modern Italian–American cuisine today is similar to the Italian one, and also why and how it was different in the past.
The next event in this series will take place on April 27 and will focus on “New York Italian Specialty Shops”.