Feast of San Gennaro 2018 New York. 92 Years and Going Strong.
This year, Heaven on earth could be found by way of Little Italy, NYC from September 13th to the 23rd on Mulberry Street, between Canal and Houston Streets.
The 11 day festival includes live music, entertainment, carnival attractions, vendors, the procession with the statue of San Gennaro and so many delicious treats that you will need to renew that gym membership very shortly.
Before we begin our culinary tour, a brief history of the festival and then on with the food.
The San Gennaro Feast is New York City’s largest and most famous religious festival that has been an annual celebration to the Patron Saint of Naples since 1926.
It began in Little Italy where Italian immigrants from Naples settled so that they could continue on with their tradition to celebrate the day in 305 A.D. when Saint Gennarthe, aka, Bishop Januarius, aka, San Gennaro was martyred.
For 92 years it has been a celebration of faith, a celebration of the Italian heritage and a celebration of food!
2 quick important points:
(1) Loosen your belts ladies and gentlemen as you enter and have fun.
(2) Even if you’re not Italian, when you are walking the route of the festival, you are.
Without further ado, on with the eats.
Meatballs and Red Sauce.
You will find so many classic, old school dishes while you walk through the festival.
You have no choice but to sample from many of them. You owe it to yourself. You’re worth it.
The classic Italian sausage sandwich is another must have. Topped with onions and peppers….you’re go to go.
Important: While you walk with the herd you’ll notice that there are some touristy spots, but they are fun and there are some old school classics, like Puglia’s on Hester St, that will not disappoint.
This beautiful shrimp parmigiana was devoured at with a Peroni or two. Or three.
Classic, simple and delicious.
Crusty, Italian bread rubbed with whole garlic, drizzled with evoo, broiled and then toppled with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
The meat man has some wonderful aromas surrounding his tent, but it was just a flat steak sandwich. Not too Italian.
And last but not least…desserts.
St. Joseph Cakes. Delicious pastry filled with sweet cannoli cream and topped with milk chocolate chips.
They weighed close to 3/4 of a pound and were as delicious as they look.
St. Joseph Cakes
Oh, how could I forget the cheese????
On the corner of Grand and Mulberry, since 1892, you’ll find America’s oldest cheese store. Alleva Dairy.
Just stepping inside you automatically feel something special about this place.
Is it because it’s quiet from the noises from the festival just outside it’s door?
Is it because Tony Danza is a co-owner?
Is it because it has a rich tradition of cheese making and you are surrounded by the most delicious mozzarella, ricotta, provolone, pecorino, romano?
It is because you can’t resist the hanging pepperoni, savory sausage or prosciutto di Parma?
Whatever the reason, you will find happiness inside this store.
Even though I just had a pound of cannoli cream filled pastry….you cannot come to Little Italy and not have a fresh cannoli from Ferrara Bakery.
On the first bite you are introduced to a delicious, chocolate covered, sweet confectioners’ sugar topped crunch and then the overflow of rich cannoli cream puts you in a state of dessert nirvana.
Well, that’s all folks.
I hope you enjoyed my little journey through Little Italy and got hungry along the way.
Remember to have fun when you eat.
Try different ethnic styles, cook something outside of your comfort zone and please….
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