Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

An Italian Thanksgiving In Washtenaw County

Nick Azzaro
Nick Azzaro and his aunt "Cookie."

During the last few days, we've brought you short stories on the different ways Washtenaw County residents celebrate Thanksgiving.  We end our series with a story on non-traditional food.  


It's no secret that many people consider turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing essential foods for Thanksgiving dinner.  But others, like Nick Azzaro and his family from Ypsilanti, celebrate the holiday in a different way.

"It is more of an Italian-themed meal.  So meatballs, sausage, not so much pasta, but occasionally lasagna," says Nick Azzaro.

Nick goes on to say they also enjoy vegetables and a casserole.  He sa's they have nothing against turkey, but it's not what his Italian aunt Guida Salterelli, who was also known as Cookie, cooked for the holiday until she passed away.

"It just brings me back to a kid going to aunt Cookie’s house.  It’s all happy and it’s all stuff I enjoy.  It’s not something that I really think about until it’s upon us and again.  You asking these questions makes me realize, 'Oh yeah, I guess we do, do this.'  So it’s not something I’m always thinking about, it’s just something as we get closer I’m starting to look forward and I’m, oh yeah, we get to do this now," added Azzaro.

Nick hopes his four year-old son will continue this tradition when he gets older.

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him

Related Content