For five years, the JCCIA has sponsored the Camminata Del Biscotto (Italian Cookie Walk). Our annual fair brings together everyone who loves to bake the cookies that have been a tradition in our Italian homes for the holidays. This is a very successful event created by Enza Raineri in an effort to keep the tradition flowing for our children and grandchildren. This in itself has become a new tradition for the Chicagoland Italian Americans. What a beautiful idea, Enza!
My 4-year-old granddaughter was one of the 80-plus participants last year. She was so excited about being there that this year she will be making her own entry: salame al cioccolato. Chocolate salami is a typical sweet of the Piedmont region. It’s made with gianduja and dark chocolate, almonds and nuts of the Piedmont. She learned this in summer camp at Casa Italia. Is this not too beautiful in what we are creating for our families?
This year, the baking rules have changed. Originally we asked participants to bring 100 of their favorite cookies. That quantity, we were told, kept some bakers from participating. So this year we have changed the rules to two batches of your favorite cookie with the recipe. It really isn’t much because you go home with much more. All the cookies are set on tables lining the perimeter of the banquet room at Villa Brunetti. The aroma of fresh-baked goods permeates the air.
After a delicious traditional Sunday dinner consisting of focaccia, salad rigatoni with bracciole sauce, farfalle with oil and garlic, bracciole and meatballs, lemon ice, rolls and red and white wine, we enjoy our homemade delicacies. All of the bakers will walk around with their own containers loading up on the samples of each cookie to take home. So you go home with much more than what you brought.
The JCCIA office will compile a cookbook with all the cookie recipes, and everyone who baked will receive this booklet. So join us and be a part of history being made as we pass on the pride of our heritage by sharing our traditions.
The Cookie Walk will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20. at Villa Brunetti, 9755 Grand Ave. in Franklin Park. Tickets are $20 per adult with a cash bar and $12 per child ages 3 to 10. RSVP by Nov. 15 by calling 708-450-9050.