For those of you who did not grow up or ever visit central NY, there are a few delicacies that came out of the Italian aspects of Utica. Reasons that Utica is known for it’s many Italian assets is due to the Mafia. The Italian Mafia ran the greater portion for a long time and all their old, rich familial traditions stuck with the area.
Here are my favorite Italian Utican delicacies. I hope you all enjoy!
1. Chicken Riggies – I made my own Riggies yesterday. They were so freaking delicious. Cream and red sauce, peppers and onions, lots of spices and slow roasted chicken, all poured over a bed of Rigatoni. SO AMAZING!
2. Half Moons – The infamous black and white cookie. The only truy good kind can be found in Utica.
3. Italian Wedding Soup – Became very big in Utica when the ‘Wedding Soup’ was introduced. Originally came from a Spanish nation, they definitely knew what they were doing. Italian wedding soup contains meat and greens in a clear broth; the meats either sausage or small meatballs, the greens escarole, chard, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, rabe, chicory, endive, lettuce, or kale.
4. Utica Greens – My favorite dish. The way some restaurants cook these greens, there is no explanation of the delicious flavors. It is just that good. Buttery and spicy, this appetizer NEEDS to be eaten with every meal. ESCAROLE WITH PROSCUITTO, HOT PEPPERS, GRATED CHEESE, AND BREADCRUMBS.
5. Tomato Pie – A cold, pizza like baked good. Tomato sauce and a lot of Italian spices, with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Certain bakeries in Utica make some so delicious, you want to eat the whole sheet.