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Authentic Immigrant Recipes? - Page 2

post #31 of 49
I agree with you :crazy:

Also, along the lines of what some have already said . . . can I take root stock from Bordeaux region grape vines, plant them in Florida, make wine from the grapes and call it authentic Bordeaux?
post #32 of 49
Thread Starter 
Sorry to hear about the storm, I hope you're back to normal soon and clean up goes quickly for you.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #33 of 49
>This is what doesn't make sense for so many places: Italy, Spain, Mexico, India, Japan... these national boundaries do not in any sane sense define any particular ethnic group<

For a more recent example, Chris, consider the Mid-East. Most of the national boundaries in that region were drawn post-WWI, and were completely arbitrary---political payback on the part of the Brits and the French, giving no thought to ethnic or other sensibilities.

Something we rarely give thought to: In many parts of the world, the British were the last in a long line of invaders, and had considerable affect on the "native" cuisine.
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #34 of 49
Doc-
Your "gyro/hero" story sounds plausible. In Chicago, the Greek meat roll is indeed pronounced as "hero." In Pittsburgh, on the other hand it is "guy-ross" even among those of Greek extraction.

I wonder how it's pronounced in New York? Maybe Suzanne could help.

To mention another localism, I'm very fond of hot giardinera, found in every
Chicagoland food store. When we visit our daughter and family in Pittsburgh, our first priority is a visit to The Strip, the location of funky, specialty, and ethnic food stores and restaurants. I wanted some hot giardinera for sandwiches with some of the excellent cold cuts and great bread we had bought.

I hit six or seven big ethnic stores - Italian, Greek, etc - and not only did none of them have it, none of them had even heard of it! :eek: I had no idea it was so narrowly focussed.

Is it known elsewhere?

Mike :crazy:
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post #35 of 49
MikeLM,
my parents remembered a particular clove-flavored blood sausage from Barga, a tiny town their families came from in tuscany. It was called Biroldo - and was typical only of that town. Not even the provincial capital, Lucca had it. But you could find it in Charlestown, Boston, where there was a very small enclave of people from Barga, because a guy from there had set up a factory for making plaster madonnas for churches, and so all the people from Barga who wanted to emigrate in those years, moved to charlestown where the factory was so they could work for the paisano. And made their biroldo to sell. So you could get it only in Barga and in Charlestown! Maybe your hot giardiniera is something like that, a local specialty.

As for "authentic" - ask any italian, authentic is how his mother made it - and don't dare do it differently!
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #36 of 49
Here in Salt Lake City we have gyros, almost had one for lunch today, had an italian beef sandwich instead. I thought everyone on the planet pronounced it as 'year oh'

As for hot giardinara it is in the pickle aisle of most markets here in town. I don't eat as much of it as I used to. It made for quick salads, though, put some lettuce leaves down, top with a pile of the pickled veggies and pour some of the vinegar over the whole mess. Good stuff.

mjb.
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post #37 of 49
Yep, it's pronounced yeer-oh in southern Ontario too. If we're to believe Seinfeld, NYers pronounce them pretty much like the syllables gyro in "gyroscope"... "jye-ro"
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #38 of 49
Thread Starter 
Yes it is known everywhere I've ever lived. Greeks do not call it Giardinera. Try asking for Toursi (pronounced toorsEE) with a rolled R in a greek specialty store. You can also make it yourself, cut up vegetables, hot peppers, capers, garlics, cauliflower, etc. Throw in a pot and barely cover with vinegar (use 50% vinegar 50% water). Bring up to a simmer and turn the heat off. Allow to cool and put in a jar. It will last about 2 weeks.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #39 of 49
If you're really stuck, you might try finding where they're keeping the Pastene and similar product lines. Grab a big thing of Pastene's giardinera, and then ask the owner, "do you have any of this stuff, but the real thing?" If you can deliver that line effectively, you'll probably get what you want.
post #40 of 49
What Koukouvagia said really rings true, ditto El Chivito's remarks. Even today things in our own countries can seem really odd or non-authentic according to our lights -- El Chivito's comment about barbeque really illustrates that.

I live in Mexico, but am from the US. Both countries have foods typical to one region that can be completely unknown in another part of the country. If it's that way in this day and age, how much more regional was it in the time of our grandparents or great-granparents? My grandmother told me that her mother (from Sicily) had never heard of lasagna, although g-grndmthr had a friend from a town 20 miles away from hers who thought it something commonplace.

To me, Neapolitan style tomato sauce tastes all wrong, although it's the most "authentic" in the minds of many Americans.
post #41 of 49
I'm new to the board and was intrigued by the thread and it's content. Authenitic? As others have said, Authentic is how momma or nonna made it.

With that being said, a lot changed as our ancestors came here from wherever as the ingredients changed; vegetables, milks, creams, meats, flours, etc. Most Italian pasta and pizza doughs are made with "00" flour... that wasn't found here (now it is in specialty markets) so all the basics changed out of necessity not out of want.

In Italy, depending on the region you're in, the food changes and when an Italian goes out to eat, they eat Italian but from a different region. If they are in Milano, then they'll eat Tuscan, Perugian, Puglian, etc which each one has it's own style and specialty dishes. In the north you find more brown sauces while in the south it's red. Why? It's what was available regionally. They didn't have trucks to send the stuff all over the country.

My heritage is Italian and German and my German grandmother used to make some peasant dishes I still remember (bad for the arteries but they were good!!) and yet no recipe in Germany exists for them. They were as mother taught her... in essence, authentic!;)

As for the sandwich... hailing from the Bronx.. it was a 'wedge'. I've often pondered that one as to how many different names there are for the same type sandwich... po'boy, grinder, hoagie, sub, wedge, torpedo and the list goes on...
post #42 of 49

spuckie

My mother, who had immigrated to boston from italy at 6, with her parents, used to say they had submarine type sandwiches when she was a kid, but they called them "spuckies" from "spaccarella" which was a torpedo-shaped roll baked two at a time, that is two stuck together, and you'd break "spaccare" them apart to make two rolls. But they were poor so they filled them with onions and oil and vinegar!
I guess that term spuckie never caught on, but i wonder if anyone else ever heard it.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #43 of 49
In Dorchester and Milton, i.e. the southeastern edge of Boston itself, there is a two-shop chain called "Spukies 'n' Pizza." Driving past it, my wife and I have regularly asked ourselves, "what's a spukie?" Now we know. Thanks!

So, yes, it's still around, and possibly just an old local Boston term.
post #44 of 49
I lived for 18 years in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The town boasts large numbers of immigrant Italian and German families, with other groups filtering in over time. If you drive through town, you'd swear only Italians live there, as there are so many Italian restaurants and pizzerias. After living there so many years I came to the conclusion that you can eat different pizza every day for a year and not eat the same style of pie twice. One uses wine in the sauce; others wouldn't ever add it. Some put fennel seed in their sausage; others don't. Cheese on last; cheese under the meat. Thick crust; cracker-like crust. Cut in wedges; cut in squares. You get the idea. And it's all good!

The more I talked to friends whose families came directly there from Italy, the more I came to realize that the differences were based on regions or sub-regions. Many of the immigrants there came from Calabria. But as someone mentioned above, a region could be a very large area to people whose hard work kept them within a few miles if their home village or farm for generations. Variations would develop even within a few miles of a food style.

Back to Greek food: The Greeks next door to me never, ever put potatoes in their moussaka, only eggplant with meat (or no meat if it was Lent), bechamel and grated kefalotiri cheese (again, unless it was Lent). Yet I ate moussaka with potatoes in Athens. Could it be because my neighbor was from Sparta, and they may not use potatoes there?? Again, it's regional, not chronological.

I never meant to write this much, but I've actually given this topic some thought!
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post #45 of 49
Thread Starter 
I've heard that there are some greeks who don't put potatoes in moussaka but I've never come across eating it this way. Greeks are probably even more inflexible than Italians about preserving their recipes. That's one of the reasons why when you hear greek cooks talk they'll say things like "Never ever!" or "We ALWAYS use that ingredient," because of this stubborness to use the same recipe until they pass it on for someone else to be stubborn about it. One the one hand I understand the need to pass down Grandma's recipe, on the other hand I get very irritated at the unwillingness to try something new and possibly better. So many try to make their food the same same same, while my motto as a home cook is to make it better! I'm not under the constraints of a restaurant where it has to be consistant, I'm a home cook and I can afford to add herbs to a dish that I've never added herbs to, know what I mean?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #46 of 49
I know perfectly! I come across this all the time, people who will not eat something if it isn't EXACTLY as mamma made it.
Also thanks ChrisLeher, i was glad to hear the old term is still alive!
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #47 of 49
i agree that cuisines are altered to meet the preferential tastes as well as to adopt locally available ingredients. similarly the way a McDonalds hamburger in the US tastes different when compared to their Asian outlets. i heard that sushi in Japan has a more bland taste there than compared to other countries that desire more flavor.
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post #48 of 49
I wouldn't say so, no.

It's true that if you like things like spicy-crab-mayo rolls, nobody eats those here. Wasabi is very different at good places, because it's real wasabi and not dyed horseradish powder, and it does have a somewhat milder flavor. Other than that, I find the basic level of flavor "strength" about the same.
post #49 of 49
I want to know which version of tuna hotdish is the official one? :D Someone actually wrote a cook book that had more than a hundred variations. MN has a hotdish cook off every year and there was much debate last year over some of the entries being either spicy, pretentious or both. People were afraid things would really get out of hand and people would start calling it the MN casserole cook off. ("Casserole" being considered far too elaborate a term for the noodle concoctions we call "hotdish".
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