One of the most memorable moments I have growing up in an Italian household was Sunday dinner. This was the single most talked about meal of the week. “What do you want for dinner on Sunday” my dad would always ask on a Tuesday afternoon!
Now keep in mind Sunday dinner was usually around 2-4pm after church and it got started somewhere around 9am.
The smell tho was amazing! Neighbors could smell the sauce cooking from a block away and ask what was for dinner. It was a thing of pride growing up.
This was a tradition for most of the first and second generation Italian American families. So how did it begin?
Lets roll back to the earlier part of 1900’s. Italian immigrants where discriminated and lack of paying jobs was scarce. They soon realized that family intimacy was the most dependable source of emotional stability.
If they could find a job most found work as laborers, working long hours sometimes 6 days a week.
Sunday dinner provided them a release from the work week and a time to socialize with their family.
Food was also a way to show the family how hard they worked in order to put this food on the table.
Now flash forward to 1980’s to 2000’s most families have two people working full time just to keep up with bills and its hard to find the time to cook a meal for the family. Takeout and fast food options are becoming the norm for families with little to no time to dedicate to this Sunday traditional meal.
March 2020 the beginning of the Covid-19 virus pandemic families are forced to stay inside, cook again and spend time with their families. Talking about “what do you want for dinner Sunday” topic is coming up at 9am on Tuesday!
Lets make the best of this time and find the great moments bonding with our families again and lets keep this tradition going for the next generation!
By Frank LaMark – Primo Italians