DOMENICO DELLI CARPINI
America Oggi, editor and VP
You are one of the founders of America Oggi, how does it feel to run a newspaper during these unprecedented times?
I think that running a newspaper is always a daunting task, no matter what the circumstances. During this pandemic however, it has become extremely difficult considering the revenue shortfall in terms of advertising and particularly in terms of circulation and sales. But, running a newspaper is also a labor of love and there is nothing in the world that surpasses the joy of ‘reading and touching’ your ‘creation’ on a daily basis. It is an indescribable feeling that more than compensates for the problems you face and resolve day after day. I understand that dreams sometimes run faster than difficulties and to overcome them your courage must be greater than your fear, but when you have perseverance and preparation, your ideas will always find the right way to resolve any issue.
You know better than anyone else the Italian community in New York. How are they handling the pandemic?
I think that the Italian community as a whole is handling the pandemic quite well. These are extraordinary and sometimes painful times, but the Italians, and in particular the Italian Americans are used to sacrifice and most importantly have a keen sense of responsibility by being respectful and following the rules and regulations to avoid the spread of Covid. In addition, the Italian and the Italian American communities in the United States and in the East Coast in particular, have a close family tradition and follow a healthy Mediterranean diet that creates a sort of auto-immune defense mechanism against many ailments.
You lived here all your life. If you look back at the times where it was difficult to find Italian products, do you have some memories to share?
I have many, but the one that really comes to mind was when in the early ‘80s my wife and I went to an Italian deli looking for ‘Mascarpone” for a “Tiramisu”. Not only did the store keeper tell us it was unavailable... it was also illegal because of its content. Low and behold a year later the NY Times ran an article citing “Mascarpone” as the “in” ingredient for this newly discovered dessert in the US. The rest is history.
When you go to Italy on vacation, which is the first dish you want to try and why?
There are many ‘appetizing’ dishes that I love, but, the one I cannot do away with it is “spaghetti al sugo di pomodoro, al dente”. I know it is a simple dish, but when it’s freshly made with pure ingredients there is nothing that surpasses its goodness.
After so many years in the Us, how have you changed your way to cook Italian dishes?
Not much, if any. My family traditions are part from the Campania region and part from Tuscany. Useless to say that when you combine the two you have a mix of fine and variegated food that once enriched with a good wine creates a phenomenal combination of taste and unmatched flavor.
What do you miss the most about Italian way of life here in New York?
The “bar life”. It is very difficult to replicate the “Bar concept” and most importantly the “Bar atmosphere and the camaraderie” here in the US. It has somewhat changed now, but the feeling of walking in, ordering "un caffè" or “un cappuccio” and talking to your friends about everything, from sport to... other daily subjects... it is not the same.
What is your favorite dish to cook and why?
Well, I have many dishes that tantalize my taste buds, however my most favorite main dish is “Ossobuco” with a side dish of risotto “alla Milanese”. Yet, nothing beats a great homemade “lasagna dish” with a combo of ricotta, béchamel and a three-meat sauce of pork, veal and beef, made by mamma.