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Italian Canadians At Table: A Narrative Feast in Five Courses

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The persistence of misconceptions about Italian-Canadian food culture raises many questions for us. Are we gluttonous, inebriate and too loud? Do we force-feed guests? Are we in fact food-obsessed? How many grains of truth can a stereotype hold? We had to know, so we asked articulate and thoughtful Italian-Canadian writers and simpatico friends from British Columbia to Newfoundland. The responses were surprising, thoughtful, entertaining and often touching, making my co-editor, Delia De Santis, and I very glad we asked, as every piece which streamed over the internet? ether was a gift and a joy to read. And the result is Italian Canadians at Table, a passionate literary feast of poetry and prose.

270 pages, Paperback

First published October 1, 2013

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About the author

Loretta Gatto-White

2 books1 follower

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Profile Image for Italo Italophiles.
528 reviews29 followers
August 20, 2014
Food memories are some of the most resilient because they touch all of our five senses, so food can bring comfort in the form of the good memories it elicits. The essays in this book take the form of biography, memoires, poetry, anecdotes, even songs.

The authors, most Italian-Canadian, often relate how they felt as children, compared to how they feel today about their relatives' generosity when it came to food and the house-guest. Shame has been replaced by understanding, amusement, and even pride. There is a recognition that the attempt to keep up childhood-learned food rituals are actually a way to remember who one is, and where one came from.

Because there is no plotline to join the essays together, I found my interest was sustained best when I savored the essays in small batches, like dishes served at a long Italian wedding dinner.

But why do we enjoy reading about other people's memories and lives? I suspect it is because they may spark our own long lost memories, and bring joy. They may help explain a friend or relative who grew up in a culture similar to the essayists'. They may point out the common human experiences that bind all of us together, no matter what our background. These essays do just that!

Read the full and illustrated review at Italophile Book Reviews:

Profile Image for Marilena.
99 reviews
November 17, 2013
The preparation of Italian food and its sharing becomes a way of strengthening bonds, creating friendships and remembering the past. The short stories and poems about food present Italian generosity, Italian warmth and the fascination with traditions as well as a certain openness to anything new. Tales of longing, of remembrance, of nostalgia, of admiration or of great amusement are gathered in this book which is both a culinary and intellectual feast reflecting identity within the immigration context.
I must admit I also liked it because I discovered facets I hadn't known of some personalities I enormously admire and who helped me in my studies.
1 review2 followers
January 3, 2018
A lively collection, fun to read, and full of heartwarming anecdotes about food, families, and history.
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