Author archives: Jenny Arena

Nonna Carmela’s Melangiani Chini

Melangiani chini, dialect for a southern Italian staple, stuffed eggplants. I have eaten countless numbers of these growing up and the mere smell of these vegetable delights turning golden brown in a frying pan conjures up wonderful memories of unforgettable moments. I don’t know of any Calabrese woman, nonna or otherwise, who doesn’t have this…

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Living Italian with Mary Giuliani

You’ve seen her show off her entertaining skills as a regular contributor on the Rachel Ray Show as well as through the corporate catering business she operates with Celebrity Chef Mario Batali, she is Mary Giuliani, caterer to the starts. Mary creates parties for the crème de la crème of the art, fashion and entertainment…

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Soppressata Saturday

*header image from There is a famous quote attributed to German aristocrat Otto von Bismarck stating “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made“.  While I agree it is not the prettiest process, I disagree that it should go unseen or for that matter untested.  My reasoning is twofold:…

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Pasties for St. Paddy’s

Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once said “there is no sincerer love, than the love of food”.  His famous words could very well be my personal slogan for I am truly consumed with a passion for food that encompasses a global spectrum. While my truest fondness will always be Italian food, I do enjoy taking…

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Chiaccherie: What’s all the chatter about?

Carnevale, a time of celebration and indulgence, where masquerades and merriment take precedence and when the expression “fare due chiaccherie” takes on a whole new meaning. Many holidays in Italy are usually accompanied by culinary tradition, and Carnevale is no exception.  During this mardi gras period in the peninsula, delightful sweet, crispy strips known as…

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Say it with a Kiss

“Ogni grande amore comincia con un Bacio ~ Every great love begins with a kiss” A kiss can be romantic and passionate; loving and warm or sinful, indulgent and made out of chocolate. The Bacio is one of Italy’s most beloved confections and although the dark chocolate and hazelnut kiss can be gifted at any…

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Must-Have Mastazzoli

If you’ve ever visited a fair or festival in Italy you have likely seen city squares crowded with banchini (booths) with vendors selling their wares or religious articles, souvenirs and regional fare.  Among them you will typically find mastazzolari selling celebratory confections known as mastazzoli (image from Mastazzoli, typical of Soriano Calabro (a town…

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Panettone Panini with Bauli Canada

Panettone, a classic confection of the Christmas season.  For those who may be unfamiliar with the sweet loaf, it is an Italian festive staple.  Hailing from the northern city of Milan, its name Panettone translates to “big bread”.  It is made of dough similar to sourdough that traditionally gets sweetened with candied orange peel, and…

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