Fiorella hosted her second La Vigilia: Italian Christmas Food Traditions lecture and food celebration at the Italian American Museum in Little Italy this month. Once again Cav. Dr. Joseph Scelsa continues to outshine the last year and the museum was as festive as ever, the authentic, intricately carved presepio was front and center right when you enter the museum.
Fiorella spoke of Italian food traditions, as well as classic Italian games like tombola. Early in the evening, she set the tone of a Christmas in Italy by telling the folklore of La Befana. She is the Christmas witch who fills the shoes of good children with candy and presents, and bad children with coal or dark candy on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany. This figure is a classic combo of old Italian paganism built in a Catholic holiday. The children also know to leave her vino roso instead of cookies!
Throughout the evening Fiorella drew on her Italian heritage and discussed the symbolism of eating traditions in Southern Italy, specifically of Naples and Sicily. From capitone (eel) to classic calamari, she described the main courses. Her own childhood bathtub was filled live eels on Christmas eve! Her mother and four sisters work together to create the most delicious and lasagna with layers as thin as paper- hours of love, tears and arguments were put in that Christmas Day meal. Finally, her Aunt Orsala taught her to make traditional Italain cookies that she would give to all her guests visiting on Chritsmas day after church and strufoli, and the Torta Di Natale made of gelato.
The night was not complete without the tombola, prizes, and delicious Italian food & wine!
Check out a glimpse of some of our raffle winners:
Winners of the Eattiamo Box!
Winner of the Urbani Truffles!
And a peak at the Tasting Menu and complimentary Wine Pairing by Rob Cittadino, check it out below!
Urbani Truffle Cream Cheese with Baby Cremini Mushroom
Drizzle of Urbani Truffle oil
Wine Pairing: Tenuta Monte Ilice Etna Rosso, Sicilia.
Rao’s Roasted Red Pepper’s sott’ollio Crostini
Wine Pairing: Cantine Miali "Firr" fiano Minutolo, Puglia.
Filaga’s Sicilian Rosticerria Sampling: Arancini, Sicilian Pizza
Wine Pairing: Cantine Miali "Ichore" Negroamaro, Puglia.
Fiorella’s Pesto and Marinara Sauce
Eattiamo’s Insalate featuring Rivera Olives with Herbs from Portofino & Monocultivar Taggiasaca Evoo
Modena Balsamic Vinegar Cuvee
Aputia’s Authentic Sicilian Cannoli
Wine Pairing: Cantine Miali "Firr Vendemia Tardiva"( Late Harvest)
L’Arte del Gelato’s Torta di Natale Gelato
Wine Pairing: Podere Pavolini Spumante Bacedasco Alto Lady Gio Brut Metodo Classico
Master Sommelier: Robert Cittadino
Special thanks to our Wine Donors: Willy B’s. Wines and Liquors, The Wine Room of Forest Hills, WineIcons, Island Wine and Spirits, Cantina Miali, Puglia, Enoteca DiPalo
Thank you again to all of our vendors for the delicious tasting menu and raffle prizes, and to everyone who came out that night! Buon Natale!