November 27, 2013

"Cucina Della Nonna" in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Participants and organizers pose for a photo
Photos by New York Scugnizzo

By Giovanni di Napoli

On Sunday (Nov. 24th) I had the great pleasure of attending Cucina della Nonna ("Grandma's Kitchen"), the first of hopefully many celebrations of Neapolitan food, family, and culture sponsored by the Region of Campania (Regione Campania). The event included participants from several mutual aid societies originating from Campania — specifically the towns of Sacco, Teggiano, Sassano and Quaglietta — located in the provinces of Salerno and Avellino respectively. 

I showed up to the event at the San Cono Society headquarters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and watched masterful women demonstrate how they prepare their families’ gastronomic specialties. It was great to see these cooks get their children and grandchild involved with the cooking and preparation. The intoxicating aromas immediately brought me back to my childhood, reminding me of my grandmother's kitchen and the many wonderful meals we shared together as a family. 

The food was incredible! Cavatieddi rianisi, Savuzicchia cu' pipajuoli, Oacciarieddi cu' li fasuli, Trippa cu' patanj, Carna ri puorcu cunzata, Rava juoli cu senzifero, Cunigliu mbuttunatu, and Fusiddi cu sugu ri cunigliu were just some of the traditional dishes we enjoyed. Roasted chestnuts and a cheese course followed the tasty entrees. And, at the end, we indulged our sweet tooth with an assortment of delectable homemade desserts.

I am grateful that the members of the societies put on the event, and I’d like to give a special thanks to the ladies who worked so hard preparing and cooking all the delicious food. It was an unforgettable experience!
Father Vincent says a few words before saying grace
(Above and below) The nonnas demonstrate some of their time-honored culinary techniques, handed down over several generations 
(Above and below) Like all successful events, a great deal of planning
and hard work took place behind the scenes
(Above and below) A feast fit for a king! 
(Above and below) The ladies put the finishing touches on the platters 
before serving an army of hungry guests 
(Above and below) Some of the delicious sweets we had for dessert 
The accordionist kept the party rolling,
playing our favorite waltzes, tangos and tarantellas
(Above and below) Revelers trip the light fantastic
Placards give brief descriptions of the four towns—Sacco, Quaglietta, Teggiano and Sassano—represented at the dinner

November 8, 2013

Geraldine McCaughrean's "Monacello: Anything but Perfect" Available Online

By Lucian

As a fan of Southern Italian folklore, and an avid promoter of our people's traditions and culture, it was no surprise that I fell in love with Geraldine McCaughrean's children's series about Monacello, based on one of the most popular spirits of Naples.

Unfortunately, due to the current state of the book industry, the third installment in the series will not be published. We were very disappointed, as we posted reviews of the first two books and were looking forward to the third. However, Ms. McCaughren has not let us down!

She is generously providing the latest book on-line free of charge.

We wanted to thank her and spread the word. Below is a letter from her website explaining how to access it. 
A solution to the mystery of Monacello 3 
I am very sorry to say that it has been decided not to go ahead with the publication of the final part of the Monacello trilogy (That's how the book industry is right now, I'm afraid.) I feel really badly towards readers who, having bought the first two books, have been left hanging. 
So I have decided to PUBLISH PART THREE, Monacello: Anything but Perfect, RIGHT HERE, ON THE WEBSITE. 
In due course, I am hoping all three books can published in one satisfying volume for people coming to the story for the first time. But for those of you who have already embarked on Monacello's search for his roots, the concluding adventure of the 'Little Monk' will be available here, free of charge, NOW! 
Just go to the Books logo, Book of the Moment and click on Monacello: Anything but Perfect.

November 1, 2013

New Books

Some new and forthcoming titles that may be of interest to our readers. All are available at

Sanctity and Pilgrimage in Medieval Southern Italy, 1000-1200 by Paul Oldfield

Publisher: Cambridge University
Publication Date: March 31, 2014
Hardcover: $89.10
Language: English
Pages: 320

The Medieval Salento: Art and Identity in Southern Italy (The Middle Ages Series) by Linda Safran

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication Date: March 7, 2014
Hardcover: $85.50
Language: English
Pages: 496

Read description

Click here to see more books