Tradition – Italian-American

Italian American Tradition

Tradition and Performer’s Analysis: Wine was always a big part of any meal.  My paternal grandparents actually made their own red wine.  I never saw this actually happen but I did get to taste the results of their efforts.  My favorite of their traditions, however, was the jarred cherries that usually appeared around the holidays.  In the summer, fresh, pitted cherries were put into mason jars and covered with brandy.  The jars were sealed and stored in the basement for months.  These were the best cherries we ever tasted. We usually ate the cherries around the holidays and served them on ice cream and whatnot.

Collector’s Analysis: Like Sunday Dinner, Brandied Cherries fall under tradition because they represent a mode of activity and not so-called thoughts on tradition. It’s also important to stress the importance of retaining certain pastimes and activities from the country of emigration. Whether it be the Jews with certain recipes or Italians keeping traditions, there is a sentiment to respect the past.

Annotation: “Raised Italian-American: Stories, Values and Traditions from the Italian Neighborhood” by Joseph J. Bonocore