Tasty cultural differences: Our Italian guests have been with us at The Big Dream Factory for a number of weeks and have just left for New York on their continued journey of cultural exploration.
There is no getting away from it, America is unlike other countries and those of us who emigrate here have brought our own cultural experiences. Food is at the centre of our lives and this above all else is what makes a place a ‘home‘. For this reason, many immigrants recreate familiar flavours with the ingredients they find around them. Of course, due to geological and climatic differences, ingredients from our homeland may not be available. However, us immigrants will go to great lengths in order that you too can enjoy the flavours, textures and aromas that are familiar to us. This often involves a great deal of wandering, researching and testing. Often selecting items like canned goods that look familiar, only to find that due to a language barrier their contents are not what we expected (we speak from experience).
It makes sense that many immigrants choose to start up their own small business based on food. It’s familiar, it’s often done very well and thankfully, America makes it easy for us to get going. Many immigrant businesses involve the whole family, take the Chinese, Mexican and Italian’s for example. Having a small family food business in America can help with the transition into a new life and culture. It can often make more dramatic cultural changes less stressful by allowing some control during an otherwise confusing situation.
Turns out that our Italian guest Anna misses Italian food intensely, although she has fallen for Chinese food while in America and will take this experience back to Italy. Enzo, well Enzo just loves good food where ever it comes from and was delighted to find Lello’s Ristorante & Pizzeria, 2025 Murrel Road, Rockledge, which has become our go-to pizzarria here in Brevard. They speak a lot of Italian at Lello’s but that is because they are Italian, from Casterta, which means that their pizza is as authentic Napolitano as it can be. DELISIOZO!
Speaking of Enzo (born in Italy, living in America and Italy), he loves his breakfast and has experienced it from all over the world. However, nothing excites his taste buds more than a GREAT American breakfast. Followed by a lunch at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet or an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet (there is one in Tampa that he favours). Dinner will be a dish of The Big Dream Factory pasta, a pizza with Lello or a home-cooked pile of Indian curry. Although we’re sure he’ll tell you that his ultimate dining experience is as a guest on a cruise ship where he can be found grazing the buffet areas and all of the international dishes on offer there. We could tell you the story about the time he worked his way through 5 courses on board a ship at Cape Canaveral before we had even cast off, but will save that for another day.
So the next time you are out and about in whatever part of paradise you find yourself, take a moment to embrace all our differences. A moment to consider how that pizza, fried rice, biryani, tamales or spanakopita made it to your table. If you happen to be at a small family restaurant or business, give thanks to those who created it with immense pride and love of their own country. And if you can’t speak the language, no problem, a simple smile means the same to us all.