Spaghetti and Meatballs

Origins Of This Popular Ocean City Italian Dishspaghetti and meatballs dish near Ocean City MD

Italian food in America like so many other ethnic foods doesn’t mean just Italian food. In this country we do thingsour own way. Italian food should really be called Italian inspired food. I mean it is Italian in the sense that the ingredients and the chefs follow many of the same processes as their Italian brethren in Italy. But it has been reassembled into new combinations. A sort of what if approach to Italian cooking that has taken us in directions that has shaped the culinary culture of the..world.

If you say where can I get great Italian food or where in Ocean City, Maryland can I get great Italian dishes ,there is a real good chance that whoever you pick, from Rehoboth Beach to the Southern tip of OC, will at least offer these two dishes:

  • Pizza
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs

Naturally pizza needs no introduction but this article is about the about the dish that everyone calls quintessential Italian, even though so many other Italian American dishes litter the menus of this Maryland Ocean Resort town and just about every other place on earth.

Spaghetti and Meatballs in Ocean City

Most people when they think of Italian food in America almost always(besides pizza) think of spaghetti and meatballs. It is a major dish inspired by the foods of the old world thousands of miles away. Here in Ocean City,it is an item offered at Mancini’s Italian Restaurant. But because of the popularity, have you ever wondered about the origin of this iconic dish.but have you ever wondered about the origin of this iconic Italian American dish.

American Italian Origins

Next time you visit us here in Fenwick Island, right across the border from Northern Ocean City, Md, remember the fascinating and historical origins of this dish. Naturally the spaghetti noodle is pulled right from the old world, Italy itself. It wasn’t until immigrants from Italy begin reimagining this dish, that it became the staple it is today.

From Starvation To Abundance

As waves of immigrants came to Ellis Island the food of these poor working class Italian people would change. Tomatoes were an item that could be obtained easily in America. Meat was more plentiful and affordable than in Italy. These three things came together in the homes of these Italian Americans and a sensation was born as it found itself spreading out of places like New York’s Little Italy. The actual dish itself really isn’t an adaptation or a caricature of an old Italian dish, it is a reaction to a culture engulfed in starvation, going to a land of abundance.

Italy near the turn of the century is in economic devastation. Masses of hungry impoverished Italians make their way to places like New York City. They are probably in awe of how much food is available, and at such a low price. Tomatoes and meat become staples of their diet. In a way they are luxury items to people who couldn’t afford them in the Old World.

Back to Ocean City Italian Food

So back here in Ocean City, Maryland remember that this dish is the culmination of a good culture shock to poor people soaking up the abundance in America. Come enjoy this and all of your American Italian favorites at Mancini’s right across the border of Ocean City, in Fenwick Island.