Italian Cooking

(In Remembrance)
by Mark D'Angelo

Have you ever thought of why some of Italian recipes include the head, feet and organs
of such animals like sheep, goats, chickens and the like? They were simply obvious to
the Italians from the old country.

To better understand this rational, one must understand the lives of the average Italian
back then and traditional presentations of such meals.

Most Italians worked very hard to survive in their every day toil of existence. What ever
they grew, raised, and harvested in olden times was for the governors, the local heads of the region.

What was left for the farmer or herdsmen was at times, barely enough for his family to live on.
Nothing was wasted, everything was utilized. Every animal part was used as a meal, when there
was little left, to survive on.

In lean times, the organs where thought of as a delicacy, as some would tie these meals to special occasions.

I remember my grandmother, after butchering a chicken, actually saving the chicken claws for soup.
Believe it or not, these chicken claws give a great seasoned flavor to the chicken soup she made.
My daughter of 16, cannot comprehend this utilization, and considers such things as repulsive.
Some true Italian restaurants, render a handsome fee for such cuisine.

Think about this for a minute, if our forefathers and mothers thought the same way, we would not
be here today, enjoying a fast food value-meal entree, of a McDonald’s Big Mac! The name of the
game was survival then, and they were grateful for it.

Take the time to ask one of your Grandparents, Uncles, and Aunts, from the old country about this.
Chances are, that they will tell you, with a smile and a swelling of a tear in their eye, that
those meals, were what kept them alive.

So in closing, do some research and select such a meal, reflect on the efficiency of your ancestors.
Who knows, you just might enjoy and appreciate the entire experience!

Bless you Grandma!!!!!

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