A Sicilian Slice of Louisiana

From cuccidati to olive salad to St. Joseph Day altars, Sicilan foodways and traditions have had an immense influence on our state’s cuisine and culture. On this week’s show, we talk with Louisiana natives who share a deep love and respect for their Sicilian heritage.

We begin with Grace and Tony Mandina, whose family-run restaurant on the West Bank, Tony Mandina’s, has been welcoming guests in true Old World style for nearly 40 years. Those Mandinas are one in a million – good, hardworking folks for whom la familia always comes first.

Then, we hear from New Orleans food historian Laura Guccione, whose family hails from Alia, Sicily. With her background in botany, Laura has long been fascinated by a local fruit tree, often referred to as the Japanese plum, which proliferates wildly on the island of Sicily. Her linguistic look at the fruit can be found on New Orleans Historical.

Finally, we sit down with Sal Impastato of the renowned Napoleon House clan. Sal tells us the story of the business that was family-owned and -operated for almost a century, before he handed over the keys to Ralph Brennan in 2015.