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  • Pizza Mia
    Page 1 of 2

    by Flora Mitidiero Raehl

    Every time my family and I return to my father's hometown of Alessandria del Carretto in Calabria I learn something new about how and where he grew up, I meet new people and I marvel at how much this small town has changed over the years. During last summer's trip even my father was shocked to see two new businesses in town - pizza parlors! I grew up in a VERY Italian environment, dad was born in Italy, both sets of grandparents came from this same small town, Papa lived with us, ALL my aunts, uncles and cousins lived within blocks of each other and we NEVER went out to restaurants. So the fact that this little mountain town now has somewhere for the residents and visitors to "buy" something to eat is just shocking because, as I've said many times, if they don't grow it or kill it themselves, they just do without.

    I'm guessing that pizza is a staple in every home throughout America and much like the different dialects you'll find in the different regions of Italy, the kind of pizza you'll find across the United States depends on where you live - Chicago: stuffed , New York: the thinner the better, St. Louis: provolone not mozzarella, Florida: pork sausage, and who can ignore the new "gourmet" types topped with shrimp, pineapple or ham (no comment on this).

    My mom learned how to cook all the authentic Italian dishes from the old country, so of course pizza was a regular dish on our dinner table, but not the pizza that my non-Italian friends ate. Mom's pizza was all homemade, dough, sauce, even the sausage, all from scratch, and unlike the pizza you could buy, mom's homemade pizza was never round, but always square. If we were having pizza on a Friday during Lent, then it was a pepper pizza, no cheese, or if we were going to someone's house she would make a real authentic Calabrese pizza rolled with salty, spicy baby minnows aka "pescarill." So to find a pizza place in this small mountain town was very exciting because I think I had had my fill of pasta and was looking for a little culinary variety.

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    Article Published 5/18/2011

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