Growing Up Italian In America

growing up Italian in america
That’s me on the right with the bowtie.

Italian-American that is….

I grew up Italian American. My grandmother (“The best cook I ever knew!”, Grandma Salerno) and my grandfather (“Kindest, most gentle man I ever knew!”, Luigi Ruggierio Salerno) on my mother’s side were both from Santeramo in Colle: Apulia Region (Puglia), Italy. 10 Miles south of Bari, Italy. I have a lot more information about my grandmother and my Italian family on the “My Italian Grandmother” page. Because of where my grandparents grew up, most of the great food I grew up with is from Southern Italy with an American twist thrown in. i.e. Italian-American.

I will be placing some great stories here about growing up Italian in America. There is such a rich history with growing up Italian-American. These stories must be preserved so I’m going to start placing them here. EnJoY! If you have some good Growing up Italian in American stories please send them my way and I will add them here.

Growing Up Italian Links and Resources

Growing Up Italian (A Blog by Ed Iannuccilli)
Dr. Ed is the author of the popular memoir, “Growing up Italian; Grandfather’s Fig Tree and Other Stories.” The success of his book has resulted in invitations to speak in the United States and around the world of his heritage and of the Italian immigration. … And now, becoming equally popular is his blog site! What’s nice with his blog is that he sneaks in a classic Italian recipe every now and then 🙂

I have personally read this book and totally loved it! The vivid recollection of the memories he had from growing up Italian were a joy to read! Highly recommend the book! Some really wonderful stories that brought back a lot of memories for me. If you grew up in an Italian American household, you will enjoy this book!…and here is a video from Ed Iannuccilli himself talking about his writing of being Italian-American and what it was like to grow up in an Italian home.

Ed has a great post on this page here, We Called It Gravy Too. This article is an excerpt from his book. “Growing Up Italian; Grandfather’s Fig Tree and Other Stories.” Great stuff! 🙂 I just love this bit about dunking the Italian bread into the pasta sauce. I did this very same thing as a kid!

Here is a video of Ed talking about the book

Some other good videos on growing up Italian-American below

Italian Americans
A very good article about early immigration of Italians to America and the emergence of Little Italies in America.

Italian American History and Culture
Resources on Italian American history and culture providing excellent references to use for research. Covering many topics such as: Italian Immigration, Early Period, Main Period of Immigration, World War I & II and Contemporary Period.

Italian American History Timeline on Google
An exhaustive set of links that will take you on a journey through the history of Italian American covering the journey from Italy to America with links to many articles diving into the subject. Lots to learns here!

Italy Revisited
This amazing website seeks to document Italians’ cultural heritage by creating an extensive photo archive of the day to day life of farmers and townspeople living at the turn of the 20th century. The recipe section on this site is AMAZING!

Memories of Growing up in an Italian Family – By Glenn J. Beech
Introduction to the Festa Italiana: An Appreciation of All Things Italian.

Our Contributions: The Italians in America
This is a great video!!! This is basically a video with narration of the above Growing Up Italian Story.

Savoring Memories of Sunday Dinner – An article by SUSAN RUSSO
A fantastic article about growing up Italian American and all the wonderful food and memories that go along with it. I can so relate to everything in this article. I just had to add a link to this! Thanks Susan for sharing these special memories and some classic Italian recipes as well!

Much more to come!


4 thoughts on “Growing Up Italian In America”

  1. I read your article on chestnuts.We have trouble with chestnuts.We have to throw them away every year. what I can see is we don’t have the right stove We cook them in the oven. Is that the problem?


    1. Not sure why that would be happening. My grandma Salerno and my Mom would roast them in the oven at low temps. I’m not totally sure about the details though. Going to send my mom a note right now and will come back here with the details! 🙂


    2. OK, so here is a note from my mom:

      “Anthony, I still make those during Christmas time. It seems that’s the
      only time I find them in the supermarket

      First you need to place them on a cutting board flat side down and
      then with a sharp knife, cut an x into the top of each one. Place them
      on a baking sheet and put them in the oven (425 degrees) and bake for
      about 30 minutes.Insides should be very soft when done.

      Very special taste, delish..

      Love, Mom”


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