Bruculinu, America: Remembrances of Sicilian-American Brooklyn, Told in Stories and Recipes by Vincent Schiavelli
"In the early 1950s, Bruculinu, as the Sicilian immigrants called their Brooklyn neighborhood, was a remarkable place. If the weather was fair, the streets would be teeming with life. Women would be haggling with pushcart vendors in Sicilian and broken English over pieces of fruits and vegetables. Other vendors in horse-drawn wagons would be chanting their wares amid the song of the ragman's bell and the iceman's bellow. Growing up in this place was like having one foot in mid-twentieth-century United States and the other in mid-eighteenth-century Sicily." So begins Vincent Schiavelli's captivating story of coming of age in the Italian section of Brooklyn. In a series of witty vignettes, Schiavelli describes the social customs and secret recipes he learned from his grandfather, a Sicilian master chef, as well as the tenements, gangs, dances, holiday celebrations, and funerals that defined the culture of the neighborhood.
A popular character actor and an accomplished cook, Vincent Schiavelli has made more than 100 films and television appearances, most memorably in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Ghost and Tomorrow Never Dies. He is the author of Papa Andrea's Table, which won a Columbus Citizens Foundation Literary Award. Schiavelli has written articles on Sicilian cuisine for such publications as Saveur and Los Angeles Times. He lives in Los Angeles.