The Story of Lucia’s Calabria
When I was almost nine years old, my mother, Angela, along with my two older brothers, Vincenzo, Luigi, and my sister, Candida, moved to Toronto, Canada from San Giorgio Morgeto, Provincia di Reggio Calabria. After a ten day voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, we landed in Halifax on November 22, 1962. Greeted by the cold, Canadian winter air, we were not really prepared for the climate. My father Arcangelo was anxiously waiting for our arrival in Toronto. Papa had immigrated two years prior to use with my two older sisters, Tita and Maria.
My family and I moved to Canada for the same reasons as many other immigrants: prosperity, good jobs and education. In the years to come, many of my paesanos opened local merchandise stores. My favorite were the trattorias, where the best baked goods were prepared, such as the cannoli which is a yummy pastry stuffed with ricotta and dried fruit.
My recipes are interwoven with who I am as an Italian and feel fortunate to live in Hood River, Oregon where I can maintain the traditions of my home town cooking. Here in the northwest, the climate is much different than Calabria but I am able to have access to wonderful and abundant local fruit, vegetables and meat. Having a large green-house to grow six varieties of figs has also been a huge part of my cooking.