The first and finest podcast for Italian Americans... delivering history, discussion, and connection with smarts, heart, and a lot of laughs. 🇮🇹🇺🇸
IAP 264: Frankie D. is Keepin' It Real in Chicago
When it comes to celebrating our Italian American culture, sometimes you need to capture every moment as it happens.
Such is the case for this week’s guest, Frank Di Piero. Frank is the host of "Keepin’ It Real with Frankie D." at ItalianAmericanLife.com. With more than 100 “Italian American Moments” to his credit, Frank believes in making our culture accessible to all. In this week’s episode, we sit down with one of the pioneers of Italian American podcasting as he shares his take on why learning our collective culture makes us better Italian Americans and why preserving it through any means possible is key to moving it toward the future.
We'll explore how we can look to other ethnic communities for ideas on how to preserve our Italian culture and integrate it into our lives as Americans.
Frank also talks about how his involvement in Chicago’s Italian American community shaped his existence, including the creation of two children’s books, “My BIG Family” and “Teddy Bianco Goes to Italy.”
Join us as we meet a fellow podcaster who shares our determination to honor our past, promote our present, and create our collective future!
IAP 263: 72 Hours That Changed Italian America, Recapping the Inaugural Italian American Future Leaders Conference
For many of us who are active in the Italian American community, there exists a common, existential fear, a constant refrain that can be heard at Lodge meetings and Sunday dinners alike… “The young people aren’t interested in being Italian!"
But we decided to challenge this terrifying assumption by providing an opportunity for Italian America’s most dedicated young leaders to meet, mingle, and consider our proud community's present -- and future -- state.
“Inspiring,” "incredible," "life-changing"... these are just some of the words used to describe the inaugural Italian American Future Leaders Conference held this past weekend at the FLA Live Arena in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
We at the Italian American Podcast are proud to have played a role in this first-of-its-kind event that brought together more than 100 young, active Italian Americans between the ages of 21-35, the future leaders of our community from across the United States and Italy.
In this week's episode, some of those rising stars are sharing their experiences with our listeners. From the tribal camaraderie to developing a shared mission to singing along with Italian American favorites at a closing karaoke party, this year's delegates were able to create bonds that won't soon be broken.
If you've ever been concerned about the future of our Italian American community, you won't be after listening to this week's episode. And, if you're interested in learning more about this developing signature event, visit www.italamericon.com.
IAP 262: There's No Use Crying Over Spilled Pastina, with Special Guest Michael Fava
Panic has beset the Italian American Community!! Pastina -- the ultimate Italian American comfort food -- has gone the way of the Dodo!!! Only… it hasn’t!
When an Italian American thinks of pastina, especially during these cold winter months, it brings one back to the comforts of childhood, a cozy day in bed, and Nonna’s healing touch. But this week, when Ronzoni pasta announced it was discontinuing the production of this beloved shape we affectionately call “Italian penicillin,” millions of Italian American voices joined in a terrified uproar.
But… spoiler alert… pastina isn’t going anywhere, as we sit down with Michael Fava of DeCecco Pasta USA, who helps us dissect what our community calls a “crisis” of epic proportions.
We talk about people’s emotional attachment to food, what happens when the foods we identify with are suddenly unavailable, and what that means to a person’s identity.
We also talk about brand affinity, why Ronzoni might be hurting their brand with this sudden decision, and how other brands can jump on the “pastina bandwagon” so they can attract business from Italian Americans seeking to replicate one of their favorite soul foods.
We’ll discuss how the “Pastina Crisis of 2023” might just be a reaction of social media and what makes pasta shapes and production methods so important to how we use them.
And, if you’re looking for the best quality pastina we know, check out our very own Rossella Rago’s Bottega della Nonna, where you can get her brand for 10% off with the code NEW10!
Join us as we stir the soup around the biggest Italian American news story of this young year!
IAP 261: The First Family of Torrone
Close your eyes and try to rate it. That crunchy, sticky, subtly sweet cloud of confection… The pillowy perfection known as torrone candy… Whether at the holiday table, a wedding or feast, or on the ball top at a summer feast, it’s a taste that every Italian American knows.
This week’s guests are responsible for bringing that taste to paesani near and far, thanks to their unique way of marketing that old-world taste to new-world homes. Anne Marie and Tony Andriola are the founders and owners of torronecandy.com, which was born out of the family’s feast-time concession business and developed into an online marketplace filled with treats that can’t be found anywhere else.
To kick off 2023, Anne Marie and Tony tell us the story of their family business, from its founding in the 1980s to today. They also tell us about how they got involved with selling torrone, and why the treat has lived for so long in the collective memory of Italian American families.
We’ll learn how to differentiate the types of torrone, including hard and soft, and explain what exactly goes into this unique nougat candy. We also talk about how digital media can help redefine the Italian American experience, from making the touchstones of our culture available to far-flung corners of the map to teaching the uninitiated the perfect way to crack a rock-hard torrone!
Join us as we celebrate this distinctively Italian treat… it’s an episode so sweet that you’ll be begging for more!
IAP 260: Are You Part of the Struffoli Squad? With Special Guest Annie Petito of Cook's Illustrated
Are YOU part of the Struffoli Squad? These beloved Neapolitan confections, deep fried and coated in a sticky sweet sheen of freshly warmed honey, are often considered an essential part of an Italian American Christmas, but for this week’s guest, they’re special enough to earn the title of “show stopper."
Annie Petito is one of the incredibly talented culinarians behind Cook’s Illustrated, perhaps the most highly-respected publication amongst America’s chefs. When this proud Italian American got the chance to select the magazine’s annual “show stopper” Christmas dessert, she went back to her roots to share her family’s recipe for Christmas Struffoli. Of course, when you’re publishing in a journal as highly regarded as hers, you can’t simply pass along Nonna’s old notecards, so Annie set out to construct the most scientifically accurate recipe that’s ever been written for these humble little treats! In the process, she discovered their fascinating history goes back to ancient Greece!
Since it’s almost time to say “Buon Natale," as Christmas is right around the corner and this is the final episode before the Feast of the Seven Fishes and Christmas arrive in earnest, we’re sitting down to discuss the history of Struffoli and some of our other beloved Italian American Christmas staples.
And, thanks to a little sleuthing, we may just have discovered the exact moment when Italy’s meat-free Christmas Eve traditions coalesced into Italian America’s Feast of the Seven Fishes, and we’ll share the new findings that might finally allow Pat to accept this number-obsessed take on Italy’s La Vigilia!
Join us as we explore these most cherished of traditions and set the mood for you and yours to enjoy a VERY BUON NATALE!
IAP 259: The Songs of Our Folks with Special Guest Michela Musolino Part 2
Music always plays an outsized role in getting us in the “Holiday Spirit," and this year, Christmas in Italian America will have a distinctly Sicilian sound thanks to one very devoted Sicilian American songstress.
In this conclusion of our two-part episode with special guest Michela Musolino, we learn more about her new Christmas album, “La Notti Triunfanti”… The Triumphant Night! Michela tells us how she packed up her most beloved Sicilian and Southern Italian Christmas songs and moved to Memphis, Tennessee to record this heartwarming collection with a team of talented Italian Americans in support.
From traditional Sicilian Christmas sonnets infused with Beal Street swing to Neapolitan yuletide lullabies with rockabilly edge, Michela’s latest album seeks to join traditions from Sicily and Southern Italy to the rich musical culture of Memphis.
Michela tells us about the inspirations for this album and how retelling timeless Christmas tales helps bridge cultural differences.
We also dive deeper into the intersections between Sicilian folk music and Italian American folk music, and how this music is truly the expression of the Italian soul.
Join us for this cheerful conclusion as we ring in Christmas… Sicilian style!
I don’t even know what to say about this podcast. I just got back from a trip from Italy and it’s very hard to come back to the US as an Italian American and have to grieve leaving. Do you know what I mean? This podcast really helps me with that. Helps me keep connected with Italian American community, even though I don’t see them very much. It’s got me canning tomatoes again! Thanks all of you for everything that you do.
THE Podcast for the Italian American Community
This show is “required listening” for all Italian Americans. These 30 and 40 something cohosts never miss - always a balance of education, lively discourse, and reminiscing that not only makes the past present but showing us the way forward. John, Pat, Rossella, Dolores and Anthony have become the most prominent voices of young Italian America, leading the charge into the future. The older generations will listen with nostalgic pride and those that follow will strengthen their cultural identity with a better understanding of famiglia and tribe.
I love this podcast! The stories, guest and co-hosts feel like my cousins and family at Sunday dinners. I absolutely love this show, especially as an Italian-American working in the film/tv industry this is my go to podcast on nights after striking sets. Thank you, thank you , thank you!