ITAL­IANS IN NEW YORK: LIT­TLE ITALY AND THE BRONX

All About Italy (USA) - - Traditions - John Da­porto

Lit­tle Italy for a long time has been New York’s most fa­mous Ital­ian-amer­i­can neigh­bor­hood, home to thou­sands of Ital­ians who em­i­grated there from the late nine­teenth cen­tury to the 50s. How­ever, since the 70s sec­ond and third gen­er­a­tion Ital­ians went in search of other spa­ces where to move, and they found them in the Bronx, which by now is a sec­ond Lit­tle Italy where the taste of au­then­tic­ity is still the same.

The fam­i­lies run­ning some of the most his­tor­i­cal es­tab­lish­ments, in the 70s, re­sisted the change, thus in Lit­tle Italy there are places like “Di Palo”, the most fa­mous food and del­i­catessen store in the city.

It has been run by five gen­er­a­tions of Ital­ian mi­grants with the aim to spread the au­then­tic Ital­ian culi­nary cul­ture, choos­ing prod­ucts made by small com­pa­nies from all the re­gions, sym­bols of the Made in Italy ar­ti­san ex­cel­lence. Also, “An­gelo’s”, his­toric restau­rant opened in Lit­tle Italy in 1902, con­tin­ues to serve there the same tra­di­tional dishes of Neapoli­tan tra­di­tion: Posil­lipo clams, Santa Lu­cia mus­sels, and fried cala­mari. While Apu­lia’s tra­di­tional recipes can be ap­pre­ci­ated in an au­then­tic fa­mil­iar trat­to­ria at­mos­phere in “Puglia”, other his­tor­i­cal restau­rant founded in 1919. An­other iconic es­tab­lish­ment is “Caffè Fer­rara”, founded in 1892, the first espresso bar and the first Neapoli­tan pasta maker in the city. None­the­less, also in the Bel­mont area in the Bronx, where many Ital­ians set­tled be­tween the 50s and 70s, it is pos­si­ble to ex­pe­ri­ence an au­then­tic Ital­ian at­mos­phere. There the Ital­ian tra­di­tion is pre­served and passed on by Ital­ians like Marco Co­letta, Ro­man chef at “Tra di noi” restau­rant, who of­fers only au­then­tic Ital­ian recipes that bring the fla­vors of the past, such as “Trippa alla ro­mana” and “Pollo alla cac­cia­tora”. How­ever, in Bronx Lit­tle Italy, the Ital­ian at­mos­phere ex­tends be­yond the walls of stores and res­tau­rants; walk­ing down the street it seems to be in a small Ital­ian vil­lage where shop­keep­ers know your pref­er­ences and give you ad­vice, peo­ple on the street stops to have a chat.

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