In this week’s episode, we’re wrapping up our two-part look at the Northern Italian impact on Italian American life by criss-crossing these great United States to discover Northern Italian enclaves from California to Idaho and everywhere in between!
Our special guest, and Northern Italy expert, Robert Allegrini, takes us on a tour across the country, stopping in various Northern Italian communities to explore their traditions, histories, and influence on Italian American life today. We’ll also discover some manifestations of Northern and Central Italian American pride, including La Corsa dei Ceri (“St. Ubaldo Day”) in Jessup, Pennsylvania, which is our country’s largest and most traditional Central Italian celebration.
And speaking of Saints and Feasts… we’ll take a deep dive into an exploration of the differences between Northern and Southern Italian Catholicism and why Northern feasts and festivals may not have survived the immigrant journey as well as the Southern ones did.
We also wander into a conversation on how Northern Italian cuisine has found its way into the American diet, where you can still find heirloom restaurants across America serving authentic Northern dishes, how Northern chefs invented some of our more-famous indigenous “Italian American” dishes, and how America’s pizza culture evolved to produce the culinary mystery that is Chicago’s Deep Dish Pizza!
So if you’ve enjoyed learning more about these fascinating communities and characters, get ready for more “Northern Exposure” with the next half of this incredible story!