Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cultural Festivals Transport Us to Another World

As anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows, I love Italy. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could. Sadly, I do not have the money nor a stable enough career to take that vacation. However, I can always get a taste of Italy if I really want to. Indeed, food is a gateway to culture and tradition. All I have to do is whip up some spaghetti bolognese, or grill a proscuitto panini, or scoop a spoonful of straciatella gelato, and I am instantly back in Rome walking down Via del Corso. And one of the best places to eat Italian food is at an Italian festival.

Italian Fest is next weekend, and I fully intend on hitting up Little Italy all weekend long. Not only will the food be sensational, but there will be wine tastings galore. (Because it certainly is not a meal without a glass of vino.) On top of the sustenance and libations, Italian Fest will also offer cultural keepsakes from vendors and artists. I will be looking for any photo or painting of an Italian city to hang on my wall at home. Even though I can purchase Italian fare and souvenirs, it's the vibe that really makes the experience enjoyable. There is an electricity, a feeling of community at International festivals. They pull you into the culture, and it's sad when you have to leave that world. 

In the interest of broadening my horizons--Italian Fest is not the only place to get great food and wine--I will also be attending Greek Fest at the end of August and then Polish Fest in the beginning of September. Obviously, I will try to fit in more if I can, but those are the three big ones. And for one day--or however long I spend there--I will be transported into the world of these fascinating countries.
I can't wait to take a bite.

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