A Glimpse of Thanksgiving in Italy

Although Thanksgiving is uniquely an American holiday nearly every continent has some version in their own culture though not celebrated necessarily in November.  These Thanksgiving events usually are a celebration of harvest.

Italy, with its American influence finds itself in many areas awkwardly scrambling to celebrate Thanksgiving. Finding a turkey, “tacchino” in Italy is, at best, troublesome.  You just can’t go to your local butcher or “macellaio” . It is not always that easy.  They usually have to be special ordered. A chicken, yes, turkey, rare. Now for the pumpkin pie!  Unless you have grown your own pumpkins just try to find a can of pumpkin puree!  Potatoes, sweet or mashed “pure’ di patate” and green beans “fagiolini” are a snap. Pecan pie another mystery as pecans are very difficult to find in Italy. So too, you can probably check cranberry sauce off your list.

And, just a side note, corn on the cob is never eaten but only grown for the animals!

However, those celebrating will find a way to improvise and the main concern is for family and friends to be together to celebrate and give thanks.

Following is a simple little sweet that you may enjoy with your morning coffee before your Thanksgiving festivities begin.

With this thought in mind, as we get ready for our sit down  with our family for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner of Antipasti, pasta, “the”turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, sweet and roasted a few casseroles and whatever else we feel the need for before we even get to the dessert “dolci”, we would like to extend a wish to you……

We wish you and those you hold dear a bountiful Thanksgiving with the love of family and friends to share it with. Have a safe and happy holiday. 

Charlie, Anita, Andrea, Claudia
The Augello Family
E. 48th Street Market Staff

Sicilian Orange Bundt Cake


  • 3 large eggs
  •  2 cups all-purpose flour (about 8 1/2 ounces), plus more for pan
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest plus 1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice (from 3 oranges), divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing pan

Serves 12

This light cake is something Sicilian grandmothers often serve in the afternoon or even for breakfast. For a tender cake with a light texture, be careful not to over mix the flour into the batter.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together flour, orange zest, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Beat sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs with an electric mixer on high speed until almost white, about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Add orange juice; beat on low speed until combined, about 20 seconds. With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour mixture. Beat until just combined, about 1 minute (do not over mix).

Transfer batter to a greased (with vegetable oil) and floured 9-inch tube or Bundt pan. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert cake onto a wire rack; let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Cake can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.