Michael Canzian on the Value of Preserving Italian Cooking Traditions

Michael Canzian on the value of preserving Italian cooking traditions
on the value of preserving Italian cooking traditions

Passion for Cooking

As an Italian-American, my passion for food is connected to the culture and traditions I was immersed in. During my early years, I spent most of my summers in Italy where I naturally learned about food. I was surrounded by people who had an adoration for cooking. Our were our pride and joy-something that we held onto dearly because it was not only part of our family culture, but also our identity. Part of the Italian tradition is to pass down recipes from one generation to the next. Whether one is part of a big or small family, food connects us all through well-conceived dishes that are cooked with love and passion. Another part of our tradition is to retain and pass down family recipes as it gives them more meaning; little tweaks here and there won’t matter as long as it stays true to the traditional roots in which it was developed.

Cooking and Eating Together

Food is better when cooked together. Not only do we share the same devotion for food, but we also make sure that we get the opportunity to prepare it together. It is a joy to be in a collective experience where we get to strengthen our bond as a family. With the knowledge of passing a recipe to the next generation, it is crucial to understand first that local, fresh ingredients are the cornerstone of any successful recipe down to how the dish is plated. Moreover, eating together is something that we should not miss out on-especially during Sundays, for it is an Italian family custom to dine together every Sunday. This is the time where we are able to look past our busy schedules while enjoying one another’s company over a delicious meal in front of us. According to (2019), this tradition began “earlier in the century when Italians were facing discrimination and insecurity, they soon realized that family intimacy was the most dependable source of emotional and material strength. Italian laborers worked long hours, six days a week, and Sunday provided their only opportunity for socializing” This substantiates that Italians are deeply rooted in their history-upholding values and practices that hold meaning. To elaborate further, , an Italian Michelin-starred chef advocated that there are five words that define Italians-passion, pride, egotism, happiness, and style (Blyth, 2016). This emphasizes why a simple gesture such as cooking and dining together became a tradition that is still valued up to date.

Canzian Family

Now that I am living in America, became an even bigger part of my identity. It remains both a passion and hobby that lets me honor our family’s culture. It enables me to recognize that I can still be in touch with my Italian roots despite not being in the country. Furthermore, cooking Italian food for my family is also my way of immersing them while intending to continue the tradition. It empowers me to share our traditional recipes seeing that a simple dish itself can show a glimpse of Italy or even transport us there mentally. Hence, I can truly attest that our expression of love is demonstrated through the meals we share together. —

Originally published at on June 7, 2021.

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Michael Canzian is the Managing Principal and Founder of a management consulting, corporate turnaround and private equity firm. https://michaelcanzian.com

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Michael Canzian

Michael Canzian

Michael Canzian is the Managing Principal and Founder of a management consulting, corporate turnaround and private equity firm.

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