Digging for Roots

La donna Abruzzese - the only woman permitted to grace the kitchen of the New Orsogna Club in Queens, NY - For the article, go to http://www.americanfoodroots.com/50-states/men-at-the-stove-at-italian-social-clubs/

I found this bronze plaque of “la donna Abruzzese” in the garage kitchen of the New Orsogna Club in Queens, NY.  She may be the only woman permitted to grace this kitchen that is run exclusively by its male members.  For the article, go to http://www.americanfoodroots.com/50-states/men-at-the-stove-at-italian-social-clubs/

“Why we eat what we eat.”  That’s the mantra of American Food Roots, an online project dedicated to uncovering America’s culinary roots.  The AFR website states, “Through food, we celebrate our heritage – regional, religious, ethnic, political, familial. We cook and eat to connect with family and friends, as well as with ancestors we never knew.”  American Food Roots is led by four talented and experienced journalists whose mission is to share recipes and stories about America’s culinary traditions through articles, interviews, photos, videos and other media outlets.

A few months ago, my friend Helen Free, author of the blog, Hang on to the Vine and one of the co-organizers of the Let’s Blog Abruzzo conference I’m attending in June, urged me to join the AFR community and introduced me to her friend, Italian cookbook author Domenica Marchetti.  Since becoming an AFR community member, I have learned about: using a wok to make sausage and peppers; the Easter food customs of a Moravian-American community in North Carolina; the 500-year history of fusion cuisine in Florida; the beauty of using heirloom cooking tools to recreate old family recipes and so much more.

Domenica and the the AFR team gave me the opportunity to contribute to American Food Roots with a story about my father’s Italian social club in Queens, New York and the men who cook there.  The article also features a recipe for plangozze al sugo, a rustic and hearty homemade pasta dish from Abruzzo.  Happy reading and buon appetito!

Plangozze al sugo

Plangozze al sugo

Join the fascinating conversation about America’s culinary heritage.  Sign up to become a member of the American Food Roots community at www.americanfoodroots.com


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2 thoughts on “Digging for Roots

  1. Kat at travelgardeneat May 1, 2013 at 11:08 pm Reply

    This is a wonderful project. My senior year of college, I had room to take the elective “The Anthropology of Food” and it was one of the most fascinating courses I had the opportunity to take!

    • Majella Home Cooking May 1, 2013 at 11:43 pm Reply

      Kat, I hope you’ll sign up! It would be great to read your thoughts and comments. It’s truly a wonderful initiative led by four accomplished women.

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