WINTER ISSUE 2022/2023
in the Making
by Gabriel Riel-Salvatore, Managing Editor
I have been involved on and off as managing editor for Panoram Italia since 2007. For 15 years, my goal has been to make this magazine as interesting as possible, always keeping in mind the Italian-Canadian focus at the heart of our publication. In its many iterations, I’ve tried to make it more mainstream and trendier by riding the “Made in Italy” and “Living Italian Style” trends to show how Italian-Canadians have evolved into a more modern and urban community, which has come far from its rural past. Yet I always thought it was as important to go back to its roots—to the building blocks of our Italian-Canadian culture—to make this magazine hip but relevant at the same time.
It is easy to publish a magazine about Italy and Italian culture. Yet, it is a little trickier to make a magazine about Italian-Canadian culture. For me, it is as rich and fulfilling to talk about our Canadian reality as a community as it is to talk about the history of Piazza di Spagna, Cavour or Fellini. It’s a reality our cousins and uncles from Italy don’t fully understand, but that is still directly related to them.
I spent Christmas in Milan one year. My sister was living there at the time, and I was excited to visit her and to experience my first Christmas in Italy. So, I celebrated my quasi-Christmas birthday in Toronto and the next day I flew out to the bustling design capital for un Natale alla Milanese.
A study in contrasts from our typical Christmas Eve (which included a southern Italian fish dinner with family at home in Canada while watching the televised Papal mass in Rome), this one involved going out for an amazing dinner in a restaurant on the fashionable Via Monte Napoleone amidst festive families, then attending the mass at the Duomo. There we were on the other end, six hours ahead in time, living the high holiday, Italian-style.
The zuppa imperiale is a traditional soup from Emilia Romagna featuring soft, salty cheesedough cubes served in chicken broth. It is typically prepared for Christmas or Easter, but it can also be a wonderful comfort food all winter long.
This dish can also be found in Le Marche, where it is called zuppa reale, and in some parts of Abruzzo and Molise as minestra or pappa nel sacco. This classic recipe prepared with semolina, eggs and parmesan has different variants, including without semolina. It is said to have evolved from the Austrian krinofel soup that was introduced in Emilia-Romagna by Napoleon’s wife, Austrian-born Maria Luigia, from which it took its imperial moniker.
As with many millennials, Belinda and Anthony swiped right to eventually find their way down an aisle. It started with a date in Montreal’s Little Italy and the rest is history.
Both raised by first-generation Italians, sugo, vino, pickled melanzane and dried salsiccia were always part of their family traditions. For them, everything is better when it’s made in Italy; naturally their wedding took on this theme.
Set in the province of Campobasso in the mountainous region of Molise in Southern Italy, their wedding vision from the start was rustic, intimate and timeless.