Nicola and Filomena Collicchio, Willoughby Hills, Ohio
Born in Isernia, Province of Isernia, Italy
Within minutes after arriving at the Collicchio residence, I was sitting at the kitchen table, feeling like family, being served freshly baked biscotti, miscotteria, (a type of Italian bagel) and homemade wine.
Fritelle di zucchini (zucchini fritters) soon followed as I began quickly writing down recipes that Filomena eagerly shared. Nicola makes excellent wine and was equally generous in sharing his “recipe” and some of his winemaking secrets. As we made our way out to the garden, we passed through a spacious, spotless garage. A family of ten could live for a year with the food that is stored in the freezers and on the shelves here, most of it coming from the garden. Nicola’s ingenuity and hard work were apparent in his immense and meticulously maintained backyard garden. Heavy fencing provided sturdy plant supports, and his suntanned face beamed with pride as he explained his tilling techniques for water conservation.