The “Yacht Rock” satellite radio station is perpetually playing in my car, no matter what time of year. Gotta love those smooth, smooth sounds of Christopher Cross and Michael McDonald, am I right?
So there we were, “sailing” through morning traffic on the way to school on a cold January morning when “Nights Are Forever Without You” started playing. Or maybe it was “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight.” Either way, the question came up of why one half of the musical duo singing through the speakers called himself “England Dan.” A quick red-light scan of Wikipedia revealed that musician Dan Seals had picked up the nickname in childhood thanks to his fondness for The Beatles and the fact that “he occasionally adopted an affected English accent.”
Immediately, my daughter and I realized that we could both add “England” to the fronts of our names too, owing to my tendency to speak like I come from across the pond after a few too many episodes of Downton Abbey or The Great British Baking Show, and the extremely high number of hours my daughter had spent streaming Dua Lipa songs recently. Come to think of it, I realized later, inRegister assistant editor Riley Bourgeois might also need to join our Anglophile alliance, what with her intense devotion to the day-to-day activities of the British royal family. The weddings! The scandals! The clothes!
While the Brits have the market cornered on pubs and pageantry, they are a bit lacking in the culinary department. Fish and chips aside, I think it’s clear that they’d have to hand the cooking crown to their counterparts in Italy. And luckily for us in south Louisiana, a wave of immigrants from Europe’s “boot” beginning in the late 19th century means we have easy access to their old-world kitchen creations. Dishes like Gino’s famous arancini, the muffulettas at Cannatella Grocery, and the Blue Rose Café’s pasta e fagioli are only a few of the Sicilian favorites available locally. Each of these items is made with a recipe handed down through generations of family members, just like the food at several other outstanding Italian restaurants in our area.
For the cover story of this year’s March food issue, writer April Hamilton went beyond the menus at these three establishments to learn family legends from the passionate descendants of those who braved the voyage from Sicily so long ago. “I have been adopted by these families,” she told me afterward. “I guess it’s the Sicilian way!” Read their stories here.
Whether you flip for the Brits or you bleed red gravy, I think it’s impossible to resist these tales of tempting taste buds in the Capital City. So until next month, cheerio—I mean, ciao!