The Effect Of Italian Culture
In America, being Italian-American is cool. In fact, being anything but “American” is interesting. The effect of Italian culture on all of America can not be overstated. Whether it is cuisine, fashion, television, movies, lingo, italian-americans are at the forefront. It is near impossible to picture a world where there isn’t a colossal Italian fingerprint.
First, let’s get this out of the way. Whether we like it or not television/film, in particular Sopranos and The Godfather, have shaped the way the world see’s people of Italian descent. A comprehensive study of Italian American culture onfilm, conducted by the Italic Institute of America, revealed the extent of stereotyping in media. More than two-thirds of the 2,000 films assessed in the study portray Italian Americans in a negative light. Nearly 450 films featuring Italian Americans as mobsters have been produced since The Godfather (1972), an average of nine per year.
Food. Food is the first thing most people think of when someone says the word “Italian” to them and for good reason. Thankfully I have been able to eat traditional Italian food in Italy and the only word that can describe it is divine. How so few ingredients can come together to make something as perfect as Cacio e Pepè or a simple Spaghetti Pomodoro or even the world's most popular food, Pizza, is mind-boggling. Italian American food may not be as delicate and simple as true Italian cuisine, but damn is it good. Chicken Parm, Penne alla Vodka, Baked Ziti, Shrimp Scampi, the list goes on forever. Though these aren’t traditional dishes in Italy, it is what most people think of when Italian food is mentioned.
I could go on and on about all of the things Italians have brought to America but if there is one thing that Italians/Italian Americans have carried with them, is passion. Passion is something that is palpable in any form.