Things Old Sicilian Men Eat That I Ate as a Kid

When I was a little kid, my babysitter was my grandfather, Emmanuel. I loved hanging out with him and the Runzo boys. I had the diet and behaviors of a 70 something Italian immigrant. I didn't understand why I had no friends in school, but I also didn't understand how few people lunch on sardines and onions.
  1. Day old bread slathered with olive oil and mashed sardines
    Topped with lots of thinly sliced onions. You'll have no friends, but it's damn tasty.
  2. One unsweetened giant Nabisco shredded wheat doused with extra strong espresso and cold skim milk, no sugar
    Breakfast of champions for this kid. This is why I am so short and have an odd curvature of spine.
  3. Vino!
    I did not like the flavor of formula when I was a baby, so I would bat my bottle across the room. My grandfather, who occasionally had to use a walker, did not appreciate going and having to pick it up. So he started giving me his homemade wine in my bottle, diluted with lots of water. When he held up my baba he would say "Vino! Vino!". Literally my first word was "vino". I was asking for my baba. Nothing has changed 47 years later.
  4. Calamari
    I called it chewy rigatoni. I use to put the squid rings on my fingers and eat them off.
  5. Fried spaghetti omelettes with anchovies
    Melt anchovies and garlic into oil. Add old spaghetti until they are crispy fried noodles. Top with eggs, set in oven- saltiest, tastiest frittata ever!