Do you eat “TURCO” in Sicilia…??

As America prepares to welcome one of our most celebrated and meaningful holidays later this week, I’m sure we are all busy putting together all the details that will make this Thanksgiving {Il Giorno del Ringraziamento in Italian} warm and memorable…..our cantina is already prepped for tomorrow when all the cooking will begin!  This is one of my most FAVORITE holidays in America – a holiday born to “give thanks,” “to show gratitude,” “to say grazie.”  It is a reflection of a culture and its values, a concept I know very well because of this very country, L’AMERICA.

I will never forget the first time, about fifteen years ago, when I first moved to the USA and someone asked me “Do you eat “TURCO” in Sicilia??”  and I politely responded “Well, Turkey is very close to Sicily….” ;)) I still smile as much as I did then, and hope to have shared a laughter with  you — but jokes aside — being a linguist and a speaker of multiple languages, I’m always fascinated by the metamorphosis of language. Let’s summarize –>>  TURCO = Turkish in the Italian language.  TURCO = Turkey for Italian Americans.

During my last visit to Sicily, I visited two of my favorite families of butchers in Augusta where we bought our meat and poultry {yes, TURCO included ;)}.  My roots are simple  and very humble — Mom was a language teacher and my Dad owned his construction company — and never have I pretended to be someone I really am not, or wasn’t.  It is exactly the genuine people I was surrounded by, like the Lisitano and the Gentile families in these photos, their hard work, ethics and values and those of numerous other families I still hold closely to my heart that made my roots truly noble.  I want you to know the stories I share in my book are real, and so are the people, places, foods I describe. I feel honored to be able to share with you all that is so close to my heart.

Famiglia Lisitano, Augusta, Sicily
Famiglia Gentile, Augusta, Sicily

So, Grazie AMERICA – for every opportunity you grant anyone who has a dream.  This is indeed THE LAND of THE DREAMERS, of THE FREE.

Good luck with all your preparations this week! Stay tuned for some details from our Sicilian-American Thanksgiving!

Un bacio e un sorriso,

Francesca

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