[Thoughts on the Table – 52] Italian and American Culture with Nick Zingale

nick zingale

Nick Zingale is an American of Italian descent who lived and traveled in Italy and Europe for seven months last year. He joins me in this episode for a fascinating overview of his experience abroad, which he documented on his personal blog – from working as an English teaching assistant, to his discovery of his ancestors’ native towns in Sicily and Molise, to his solo travel around the Italian peninsula. Throughout the episode, Nick shares plenty of insights on Italy and the Italians from his special point of view of someone who grew up in an Italian-American family.

During the episode, Nick mentions a documentary on the massive immigration of Italians in the United States and on how difficult it was for them to amalgamate with the American culture. You can get more information on this production at http://www.pbs.org/show/italian-americans.

Nick’s travel blog can be found at http://www.nickzingale.com/nickztravels.

Paolo Rigiroli

Author: Paolo Rigiroli

Now based in the UK, Paolo is an Italian who lived in Canada for nearly 18 years and blogs about Italian food and its many aberrations.

9 thoughts on “[Thoughts on the Table – 52] Italian and American Culture with Nick Zingale”

  1. Great interview. Nick sounds like quite a charming guy! And I do want to say that, although American do do some awful things with pasta, I’ve never seen or even heard of anyone here putting ketchup on their pasta. I did experience it once, though, in Russia. I made fettuccine al doppio burro for some Russian colleagues—made the pasta by hand, mind you—and they promptly proceeded to pour ketchup all over it… I wanted to cry!

    1. Thanks, Frank – yes, Nick *is* very charming, glad you enjoyed the interview. Sorry too about your fettuccine… I wonder if your Russian colleagues did it to be polite, to show appreciation for American sauces?

      1. I don’t think so. It’s not as if the ketchup was on the table. They saw the plate of pasta, looked at it and each other as if something were missing, then one of them went looking in the cupboard for the ketchup… We were with a French colleague, who was as scandalized as I was but, unlike me, was actually bold enough to challenge them on the ketchup. They replied, “We always do this. Tastes better this way!”

    2. Yuck! I went to a restaurant in the summer run by a family from Abruzzo. They moved to vancouver in 2015. They told me that they’d had quite a few customers request ketchup to put on their pasta! Obviously it was not provided! Ciao, Cristina

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