Food has always been a big part of my family's gatherings, but when a holiday rolls around, we take it to a whole new level. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. It is a great day to get together with immediate family, but for an Italian-American, Christmas Eve is the main event.  Many Italian-Americans eat what's known as the Feast of th...

Tortellini and capon for broth, certosino not panettone. A few mortadella cubes and chocolate-covered orange peel. What to eat in Bologna at Christmas and every address for where to find it. The essential point is the tortellini. And the only way is with broth. It’s okay to be missing something else. But not tortellini, as it’s just not Christmas i...

It’s all about Christmas Eve Second and third generation Americans whose ancestors immigrated from around the world in the 19th and 20th centuries grew up with holiday traditions from their families’ country of origin. Today, as adults, many carry on those traditions, especially during the Christmas season, and the Italian-American Christmas Eve vi...

Around the Christmas season, it is common to see a display of the Nativity scene: a small manger with the baby Jesus and his family, shepherds, the three wise men believed to have visited Jesus after his birth and several barnyard animals. One might ask, what are the origins of this tradition? Biblical description The earliest biblical descriptions...

Want something fabulous to play during Christmas dinner? Here’s a wonderful “Yule Log” video from Tony Bennett featuring many amazing holiday classics accompanied by delightful animation. Bennett’s original artwork is the imagery for the yule log animation from a painting titled,“Home Is Where The Heart Is,” which he initially created for the Ameri...

f you’ve never had torrone before, the holiday season is a good time to try it. Mostly because it’s everywhere. The egg white-based nougat holiday candy with roots in Italy and the Arabic world is popping up, freshly made, in a variety of styles from some of my favorite spots in the city. You may have seen it in huge blocks at Claudio’s or Di Bruno...

Circa quattro mesi di lavoro e l’impegno di tutta Gubbio con i suoi Alberaioli. Nasce così l’albero di Natale più grande del mondo. Per il 39esimo anno, sul monte Igino si è accesa l’indistinguibile sagoma formata da centinaia di lampadine: per l’esattezza 950. Sono 1350 invece le prese e le spine utilizzate per le connessioni di cavi e punti luce...

I grew up in North Beach from 1946 through the late ’50s. I was the oldest of three sons born to an immigrant family from Sicily, a few years before Carol Doda’s breasts became institutionalized at the Condor Club, titillating tourists with silicone implants and watered-down drinks, catty-corner from City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, still gene...

Each year as the days grow shorter in England, where I have now made my home, I cannot help but miss the winters of my childhood, appallingly more than a half a century ago, in upper Westchester New York. Our home on a cul-de-sac at the top of a hill was surrounded by trees, which by early December were almost always laden with snow. The ponds and...

On the night before Christmas, an array of seafood begins appearing on some dinner tables as a symbolic way to ring in the sacred holiday. The tradition of abstaining from meat and eating fish before a holiday began centuries ago as a Roman Catholic practice in many parts of Italy, where the type and number of fish and the preparation vary by regio...