Thinking about Italian-American Food

Parm's interior

This week, the NY Times reviewed Parm, the new lunchy offshoot of Torisi Italian Specialties (itself a very interesting and widely-adored cultural mash-up of Lower East Side immigrant food traditions: think Jewish pickles, Chinese dried scallops and durian finding their way into classic red-sauce Italian-American dishes.)

As the name implies, Parm tries to resurrect and elevate declasse Italian-American foods. (Who said a meatball parm sandwich can’t be made into a¬†bourgeois¬†status item?) Pete Wells (the reviewer) has some fun pointing out the malleablity of meanings surrounding this oft-overlooked cuisine.

Fried Calamari, Cantonese style (from Torisi): with fried hot peppers

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