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WEEK NINETY-SEVEN MENU: January 25-30, 2022

Trentino-Alto Adige: Where the Mediterranean Meets the Alps. Some call it the sunny side of the Alps, others call it Trentin-Südtirol, and others Trentino-Alto Adige.  It is extremely mountainous, covering a large part of the Dolomites and Southern Alps.  The interesting historical past makes the region unique, neither completely Austrian nor Italian.  It is a place where Austrian charm mingles with the stylish Italian flair. This week’s menu will be a departure from the well-known dishes of the South – and interesting combination of the cuisines of two cultures.

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WEEK NINETY-SIX MENU: January 18-23, 2022

Coming to the Table: The Great Equalizer. Eating together helps build understanding and strengthens the bonds between people. After all, eating at a table means both eating and talking. It can foster an exchange of ideas, break down prejudices and connect us on a most basic human level. When people are seated at the table, as they are passing the proverbial salt and breaking bread, they are forced to look at each other and converse. This week we are featuring a simple menu, showcasing some of Biden’s long-time favorite dishes, Italian, of course. These are dishes well known and loved by most Americans. How appropriate to serve these crowd-pleasers to entice people to the table. That, after all, is what...

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WEEK NINETY-FIVE MENU: January 11-16, 2022

La Festa di Sant' Antonio - Coming Together. Cercina is not a little town or even a village – it is merely a cluster of simple country houses and farms, two trattorias, a tiny grocery store and an 11th century Romanesque church. The main event every year that draws hordes of Florentines to make the trek to this idyllic countryside enclave is La Festa di Sant’Antonio d’Abate, the Feast of Saint Anthony, protector of farm animals. Every other year, the parade starts at Trattoria i Ricchi, led by a marching band and locals on horseback to the church square where the animals are blessed. La Festa di Sant’Antonio brings everyone together for three days of card games, communal lunches and the local favorite, Il Tiro...

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WEEK NINETY-FOUR MENU: January 4-9, 2022

La Befana – Italy’s Own Christmas Story. The story of La Befana has been an Italian classic since the thirteenth century. It is a story of a lonely old woman and her endless search for the Christ Child. For Italians, La Festa della Epifania, The Epiphany, is as significant a holiday as Christmas Day, especially for Italian children. The legend continues that on the night of January 5th, Old Befana flies on her broomstick and goes down chimneys to deliver candy (dolcetti) or lumps of coal (carbone) to deserving children. January 6th is a national holiday and marks the end of the traditional Christmas season. It commemorates the 12th Day of Christmas when the Three Wise Men arrived at the manger bearing gifts for Baby Jesus. The traditional...

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WEEK NINETY-THREE: December 28, 29, 30 & January 2

CAPODANNO – New Year’s Eve Traditions and Superstitions. In the two weeks between December 24 (Feast of the Seven Fishes) and January 6 (Epiphany), Italians find themselves at the holiday table six times for six different celebrations! There are various traditions and specialty ingredients featured depending on the region, but food is always the main event. Second only to the Christmas feast, il Cenone di Capodanno or New Year’s Eve “Big Dinner” is the most important gathering of friends and family filled with traditions and superstitions that enrich the holiday, marking the beginning of the new year. In Italy, a traditional New Year’s Eve meal is all about symbolizing abundance, wealth and good luck. There are specific foods that no Italian would fail...

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