Category Archives: Amici News

Italian green energy for Budweiser beer production

Apart from producing the well-known Budweiser beer the American group of companies Anheauser Busch controls also Leffe and Stella Artois brands.

budweiser beer

Apart from producing the well-known Budweiser beer the American group of companies Anheauser Busch controls also Leffe and Stella Artois brands. This year the US beer giant signed an agreement with the Italian energy company Enel Green Power for the green energy supply in the USA. The production of the Budweiser beer in will become completely “green” until the 2025.

Enel Green Power will assign a part of the Thunder Ranch wind energy plant to the production purposes of Anheauser Busch. The supply will reach 152,5 megawatt once the collaboration starts. It is not ruled out that the American company will require even more green energy from the Italian supplier to use it for the production of other brands’ products that belong to the corporation.

The Thunder Ranch wind Energy plant will produce about 610 gigawatt of energy per year for Anheauser Busch. This amount is enough to produce more than 20 billion steins of beer (or 7 billion litres) a year.

Budweiser beer launches a green trend among beer lovers in America

budweiser beer

The agreement will let the American corporation to substitute up to 50% of annual electricity consumption with the energy from renewable sources. The energy generated by the Thunder Ranch wind Energy plant is enough to cover the energy consumptions of 50000 American families. It will reduce the CO2 emission by more than 400000 tons per year. The same amount can be saved by taking 85000 cars away from the roads every year.


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The Politics Of Pizza: How Italy’s Flag And Food Are Deliciously Intertwined


The Italian flag made up of three ingredients that help form the base of the country’s cuisine: basil, mozzarella and tomatoes.

A nation’s flag embodies a defining aspect of its identity. It could be related to geography (the rising sun in Japan), nature (the maple leaf of Canada or the cedar of Lebanon), religion (the Christian cross or the Islamic crescent and star), political ideology (the hammer and sickle) or mythology (the Welsh dragon).

In a new book on flags, A Flag Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of National Symbols, Tim Marshall explores how a “piece of colored cloth” can arouse profound emotions of loyalty, love and pride in the breasts of its citizens.

But of all the hundreds of flags that Marshall encounters, there is only one whose exuberant colors effortlessly evoke the nation’s delicious cuisine: the Italian flag.

“I cannot see this gorgeous, clean, vibrant green, white, and red flag without thinking of food,” he writes. “That it shouts, ‘Pizza! Pasta!’ from a million restaurants around the world is testament to the co-relation between the flag and the cuisine of the country.”

Marshall’s observations are scarcely new. Down the years, travel writers from Jason Epstein (This Side of Paradiso) to Fred Plotkin (Italy for the Gourmet Traveler), have written about how the Italian flag conjures up a whole range of green-white-and-red produce from sweet bunches of basil and flat-leaf parsley to wriggling bowls of pasta, milky white cheeses, ruddy hams and every kind of tomato. And, of course, when it comes to dishes, there is the iconic tricolore trio: Pizza Margherita, Caprese salad (both use mozzarella, tomatoes and basil) and Insalata Tricolore (which swaps the basil for avocado).

“The Caprese salad perfectly represents the colors of the Italian flag,” says Italian-American chef Lidia Bastianich, who co-owns four restaurants in New York. “While I am not so sure that the colors of the flag stem from the cuisine, there is no denying that those colors do evoke a typical Italian plate.”

Bastianich touches on something there. She is right in thinking that food did not influence the flag. But the flag has certainly influenced the food.

The most famous example is the Pizza Margherita, a pizza with political roots. The story goes that in 1889, when the new queen of Italy, Margherita di Savoia, visited Naples, a famous local chef created a pizza using ingredients to match the new flag.

“The queen diplomatically declared the flag pizza her favorite,” writes John F. Mariani in How Italian Food Conquered the World. It was a winning move. After all, the unified Kingdom of Italy had been established barely three decades earlier and regional loyalties ran deep. Using a popular food to promote political cohesiveness was a masterstroke. The Margherita became all the rage in Naples and went on to become its best-known culinary export, as Neapolitan immigrants brought it to America’s eastern cities.

Under Mussolini, Italy was presented with the “patriotic omelet.” The Italian dictator backed a branch of his Fascist Party called the Rural Housewives, “whose zealotry,” writes Mariani, “showed even in their recipes for dishes like a ‘patriotic omelet’ of eggs, greens, and tomatoes — the colors of the Italian flag.” The recipe was published in the Housewives’ newsletter for the benefit of its 3 million members, who were urged to whip up this omelet for their sons returning from war.

More recently, Italian-American chefs like Giada de Laurentis and Rachel Ray have run with the flag-and-food theme, coming up with playfully named recipes like Italian flag Bloody Mary and Italian Flag Halibut for Christmas. At innumerable Italian-themed buffets, food festivals and banquets, and all over Instagram and Twitter, ice-cream, pastries, salads and even entrees are arranged in green-white-and-red bands, such as at the 1984 Washington gala to honor the great tenor Luciano Pavarotti, where the menu included arrangements of watercress, cherry tomatoes and brie.

Sometimes, though, a too-rigid flag design (especially when it comes to salads), can rob a dish of its esprit. Instead, an abstract tangle of hues that evokes the idea of the flag rather than a simulacrum of it has a more appealing aesthetic.

A good example of this is a dish served at Osteria Francescana, Massimo Bottura’s three-Michelin-starred Modena restaurant, which topped last year’s list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The dish, “Beautiful, psychedelic, spin-painted veal, not flame grilled,” consists of a plummy cut of beef (not veal) surrounded by artful swirls of green chlorophyll, a white sauce made of mashed potato with olive oil, a sour cherry sauce and a balsamic vinegar demi-glace.

Even nicer, though, is when the national colors pop up naturally on a plate without too much fuss. Jason Epstein captures this spontaneity in his Tuscany essay, This Side of Paradiso, when he wittily describes his dinner companion’s plate of pasta:

“The pasta, under its sauce of clams, squid, and mussels, with a sprinkling of diced tomato and a shower of parsley, looked like an Italian flag that had been abandoned on his plate by a fleeing army.”

What about other flags and food? The Union Jack, for instance, does not immediately trigger images of bangers and mash or fish and chips. Not even when it famously became martyr to a misprint in a WWII-era newspaper run by two eccentric English sisters, who ran the sizzling headline: “The Balkan Herald Keeps the British Flag Frying.”

“Chinese restaurants tend not to have the red flag and the hammer and sickle flying outside to entice you in,” writes Marshall, “and spotting the flag of Tunisia doesn’t make you think of heading home to whip up the national dish of couscous.” In Denmark, the Dannebrog can be found in butchers’ shops and on packets of ham, bacon and cheese — but on its own, the red flag with its white Scandinavian cross is unlikely to suggest pastry.

The Stars and Stripes, however, can be evocative of food, says Marshall. “But it’s not used for ‘high cuisine.’ When you see it on a diner/café/burger joint — it adds to the feeling of Americana, and you just know you’re about to be assaulted, in a very satisfying way, by salt, sugar and all the wrong sort of fats.”

The global appeal of Italian food is a testament to the country’s soft power. “I would like to make clear I don’t reduce a nation down to its cuisine,” says Marshall. “There’s a lot more to Italy than food, but I seek to explain how to so many of us, the flag evokes la dolce vita, and so much of that is tied up with food and communal eating.”

Italians offer various unofficial explanations for the flag’s colors, says Marshall. “Red, the usual blood spilled for independence; green for the verdant landscape; and white for the Alps.” But, he continues, “meaning lies in the eye of the beholder, and this writer beholds avocado, mozzarella cheese (buffalo, naturally), and tomatoes. Salute!”

Nina Martyris is a freelance journalist based in Knoxville, Tenn.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit

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October is celebrated as Italian-American Heritage Month in the United States

“Every year the U.S. president signs an executive order designating the month of October as National Italian American Heritage Month. Coinciding with the festivities surrounding Columbus Day, the proclamation is recognition of the many achievements, contributions, and successes of Americans of Italian descent as well as Italians in America.
Over 5.4 million Italians immigrated to the United States between 1820 and 1992. Today there are over 26 million Americans of Italian descent in the United States, making them the fifth largest ethnic group.* The country was even named after an Italian, the explorer and geographer Amerigo Vespucci.
As Americans, we acknowledge the determination and achievements of Italians within the United States. It is our understanding that during the month of October, Italian Americans are given recognition because they play a vital role in altering the political, social,and economic aspect of our country.”
(Source: Marist College, NY)

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Quel Mazzolin di Fiori: I Campagnoli and the Italian American Folk Revival

I Campagnoli marching in a parade in downtown Pittsburgh, 1980s. I Campagnoli Papers & Photographs, Detre Library & Archives at the History Center. Gift of Mary Ferro.
I Campagnoli marching in a parade in downtown Pittsburgh, 1980s. I Campagnoli Papers & Photographs, Detre Library & Archives at the History Center. Gift of Mary Ferro.

Musicologist Alan Lomax stated that “the first function of music, especially of folk music, is to produce a feeling of security for the listener by voicing the particular quality of a land and the life of its people.” Apropos that the Italian Sons and Daughters of America’s folk music and dance troupe would call themselves I Campagnoli, which translates to “of the people” in English. Beginning in the mid-1960s, Pittsburgh’s premiere Italian folk troupe traveled the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond and cultivated a following of thousands as they performed in the dialects of Northern, Central, and Southern Italy, as well as Sicily and Sardinia. More than just purveyors of pure entertainment, the members of I Campagnoli recognized their role as the keepers of “at-risk” traditions; they were acutely aware of the loss of Italian language skills among the descendants of Italian immigrants and the loss of dialect and folk customs of Italy. Their canon embodies a pan-Italian sound that could have only formed in the Italian diaspora and their live performances offered an escape for their immigrant fans that longed for the sounds of their homeland.

Jane Ferro and Blaise Panizzi dance in a piazza in Italy, 1987. I Campagnoli Papers & Photographs, Detre Library & Archives at the History Center. Gift of Anna Marie Fiori.
Jane Ferro and Blaise Panizzi dance in a piazza in Italy, 1987. I Campagnoli Papers & Photographs, Detre Library & Archives at the History Center. Gift of Anna Marie Fiori.

Conceived by the Italian Sons and Daughters of America (ISDA) at the birth of the ethnic folk revival and the tapering of Italian immigration to the United States, I Campagnoli began as mainly first and second generation working class Italian Americans versed in the culture of their Italian-born parents; as they evolved, members of the third and fourth generation and people of mix parentage joined the troupe. The brainchild of Ruggero J. Aldisert, circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals and president of the ISDA, the group’s objective was to bring together members of ISDA lodges who were interested in performing folk music and dances to promote Italian culture. I Campagnoli was the first initiative in the ISDA’s newly formed Cultural Heritage Foundation, a non-profit created to “plan and present programs representing and encouraging Italian culture and heritage in the arts, literature, and music.”[1]

Since 2015, I have conducted fieldwork to document the history of I Campagnoli in the Senator John Heinz History Center’s Italian American Collection. This production has yielded a collection of costumes, instruments, sheet music, member scrapbooks, video and audio recordings of performances, and other ephemera produced by their members. I also conducted oral history interviews with a dozen former members to preserve individual voices. Seminal moments from their five-decade history are recalled in this aural record including their 1965 debut performance at Heinz Hall, performing at the Italian Pavilion’s grand opening at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center in 1982, the “Best of Italy” tour in 1987, and performing for Luciano Pavarotti in 1994.

[1] Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert, I Campagnoli Program

Hand painted tambourine used by I Campagnoli members, 1980s. Heinz History Center Collections, gift of Anna Marie Fiori.
Hand painted tambourine used by I Campagnoli members, 1980s. Heinz History Center Collections, gift of Anna Marie Fiori.
Liner notes from an I Campagnoli cassette tape, 1980s, gift of Mary Ferro. I Campagnoli Papers & Photographs, Detre Library & Archives at the History Center. Gift of Mary Ferro.
Liner notes from an I Campagnoli cassette tape, 1980s, gift of Mary Ferro. I Campagnoli Papers & Photographs, Detre Library & Archives at the History Center. Gift of Mary Ferro.
Sheet music collected by I Campagnoli former director Lorenzo Malfatti, 1960s. I Campagnoli Papers & Photographs, Detre Library & Archives at the History Center. Gift of Mary Ferro.
Sheet music collected by I Campagnoli former director Lorenzo Malfatti, 1960s. I Campagnoli Papers & Photographs, Detre Library & Archives at the History Center. Gift of Mary Ferro.
Mary Ferro’s dance shoes, 1980s. Heinz History Center Collections, gift of Mary Ferro.
Mary Ferro’s dance shoes, 1980s. Heinz History Center Collections, gift of Mary Ferro.
Dominic Palombo made this homemade triccheballache, a Southern Italian instrument made of wooden mallets that clack in a rhythm, 1980s. Heinz History Center Collections, gift of Anna Marie Fiori.
Dominic Palombo made this homemade triccheballache, a Southern Italian instrument made of wooden mallets that clack in a rhythm, 1980s. Heinz History Center Collections, gift of Anna Marie Fiori.

A special thanks to Angeline Collura, Joseph D’Andrea, Mary Ferro, Dolly Capparelli Ferraro, Anna Marie Fiori, Osvaldo Fontecchio, Virginia Greenaway, Adeline Makar, Blaise Panizzi, Mary Pat Petrarca, Nick Scalise, and Ann Tambellini and all their efforts to document I Campagnoli in the History Center’s Italian American Collection.

Melissa Marinaro is the director of the Italian American Program at the History Center.

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di Luisa Gabbiani Flynn

Una serata eccezionale e fuori dal consueto, trascorsa tutta a tavola, cosa che, si sa bene, è una delle migliori e correnti tradizioni italiane. La cena è stata accompagnata durante tutto il percorso dalle parole di Luciano Racca, sommelier provetto, che con grande maestria ci ha parlato dei vini piemontesi e specialmente di quelli prodotti nella regione delle Langhe, famosa per i suoi vini prelibati e distribuiti dalla sua azienda, l’azienda Raineri. Luciano ce ne ha dato la storia alternandola con ricordi della sua infanzia; ne ha descritto i metodi usati per la produzione del vino, quelli odierni e quelli antichi; ci ha fatto assaporare dei vini scelti descrivendone con parole di grande intenditore la loro località, il loro uso, il loro aroma e sapore. È stato un vero piacere ascoltarlo ed essere guidati da lui alla scoperta di questi vini e vigneti. Tra una portata e l’altra abbiamo degustato un Tibaldi 2016 Langhe Favorita DOC, un bianco secco e leggero, ottimo come aperitivo; un Raineri 2013 Dogliani DOCG “Cornole” Dolcetto, un rosso perfetto per qualsiasi piatto; e un Raineri 2014 Langhe Nebbiolo DOC “Snart”, un rosso dal profumo di rosa canina. Grazie Luciano!

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According to St. Louis Square Off: DeRienzo’s Pizza is the 2017 best St. Louis style pizza!

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St. Louis Square Off – The St. Louis Style Pizza Festival to STL Square Off Pizza Festival on The Hill

We have a winner! DeRienzo’s Pizza is the 2017 best St. Louis style pizza!

All of our pizza contestants were amazing, and it was a very close vote for everyone participating. We want to thank all our pizza peeps for baking like crazy all day. Everyone worked very hard to keep things coming as fast, and as delicious, as they can.

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Faces of Faith: An Italian-American, a Catholic and a bridge builder

Prof. Philip DiNovo in the Faith of Our Ancestors room at the American Italian Heritage museum Thursday Oct.5, 2017 in Colonie, NY. (John Carl D'Annibale / Times Union) Photo: John Carl D'Annibale / 20041760A


Background: He was born in Albany and graduated from the University at Albany and went on to earn a master’s in business administration. He taught that subject for 32 years at SUNY’s Morrisville College. He and his wife Mary live in Albany. He’s the founder and president of the American Italian Heritage Association and Museum in Colonie and was knighted by the Italian government in 1994 for his longstanding work in the Italian-American community.

What inspired you to create an organization for Italian Americans?

My father’s father, Philip DiNovo, came to the United States in 1901. Later, his wife, my grandmother, came to this country later as did my maternal grandparents, all of them from the same town in Sicily. They had a great influence on my life, but like most young people it was only later that I fully understood that my Italian heritage and culture were a treasure. In 1978, after reading “Blood of my Blood” by Richard Gambino, who is considered the father of Italian-American studies, I put into action a desire to preserve my Italian heritage. I called some fellow professors and we formed the American Italian Heritage Association. As time went on, I saw the need for a museum and we opened ours in Utica, which had a large Italian-American population. The mission is to honor Italian immigrants throughout history and tell the story of the contributions of Italian Americans. The first Italians came to Albany in 1624, and Italian Americans have had a prominent place in local history. In 1998 our association was looking for a new home in the Capital Region. We found the old and beautiful Our Lady of Mercy Church in Colonie. It was built in 1922 and had been an office building since 1975. It needed a lot of work and it took us five years to raise the money and meet the requirements to open to the public in 2009. Since then, we have had visitors from 32 countries. We are important resource for the community. We have a dedicated group of volunteers. This year marks my 39th as a volunteer.

What role does Columbus play in Italian-Americans’ understanding of their heritage?

Millions of Italian immigrants at the turn of the 20th century were the target of prejudice and discrimination. In some places they were not considered white but a mixed race. In 1891, 11 immigrants in New Orleans were taken out of a jail and lynched. That same year, President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday. Americans agreed that Columbus was worthy of the honor. Italian immigrants back then could point to Columbus who made the New World known to the old and changed the world in such a way as has rarely happened in human history. Italian Americans today take pride in Columbus’ momentous accomplishment. Like all our heroes he felt short, but what he did for the world far outweighed his faults. We acknowledge the suffering of indigenous people after European exploration, but Columbus is not guilty of genocide, which is an attempt to kill a whole people as happened in the 20th century in the Armenian and Ukrainian genocides and the Nazi Holocaust. There is so much good about the man that most people do not know. We will honor him at our museum on Monday at 11 a.m. and we would be happy to honor native Americans on another day.

What’s religion’s role in your life?

God is the most important person in my life. Prayer and the reading of the scriptures remind me daily of the purpose of my life. Any gifts and talents we have are gifts from God to be used in the church and the community. I often had to convince my students they had talents they did not recognize. My Catholic faith and the role of lay ministry are important to me to be present and active in the world. The laity have a distinct role in bringing the divine message to every aspect of life. I have also been influenced by the Christopher Movement, a Catholic organization that stresses the strength of people to do good in the community. Its motto is a Chinese proverb: “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” My wife Mary and I are active members of a wonderful parish, All Saints Catholic Church in Albany where I am a eucharistic minister, lector and altar server.

I have a great interest in the ecumenical movement and am so happy to see people of faith talking and working together. The American Italian Heritage Organization has members from many different traditions. When I was in college I was asked by Methodist landlady to go to her a supper at her church, I said, “I am Catholic.” She said, “You can eat, can’t you?” In those days we did not to go to other faiths’ places of worship. Thank God things have changed. Several weeks ago I was invited to a Jewish Shabbat service at Congregation Beth Israel in Schenectady, which was honoring a young member who was going to spend a year in Israel.

How did growing up in Albany shape your view of history?

I was raised in Arbor Hill in Albany. It was a mixed ethnic and racial neighborhood, and being there was just wonderful. No matter how old I am or where I’ve lived, I will always have great memories of the place where my grandparents and their many children lived. I keep reminding our members to learn more about their history and heritage, to appreciate and pass it on to future generations.

— Rob Brill


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Gary R. Mormino at Missouri History Museum Oct 4, 2017

Gary R. Mormino is an American historianauthor, frequent contributor to the Tampa Bay Times, the Frank E. Duckwall Professor of History Emeritus and past director of the Florida Studies Program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Mormino graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has taught at USF since 1977. In 2003 the Florida Humanities Council named him its first Humanist of the Year.

Mormino’s books include Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida, published in 2005 by the University Press of FloridaImmigrants on the Hill(University of Illinois Press, 1986), winner of the Howard R. Marraro Prize as the outstanding book in Italian history; The Immigrant World of Ybor City (University of Illinois Press, 1987), honored with the Theodore Saloutos Prize for the outstanding book in ethnic-immigration history.

Mormino has also written for the The Tampa TribuneThe Orlando Sentinel, and The Miami Herald.

In 2014 Mormino received the Florida Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing.[1]

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