Everything you need to know about Mangiacakes (from an honest Italian's point of view).
Have you ever been called a Mangiacake? Or heard one of your Italian friends mention the term before? If you don't know what a Mangiacake is, chances are, you are one. A Mangiacake, or Caker, is an Italian term used in Canada to describe a white person. Essentially, if your family is straight up Canadian or American, English, Scottish, or Irish, you're a Mangiacake. You pronounce words like broo-sh-etta, pro-shoo-toe, and you've eaten Kraft Dinner for lunch and dinner throughout your entire childhood. In all honesty, that drives Italians nuts, and although you might enjoy plain butter on your pasta, we think it's pretty gross- but hey, Cake it up!
Mangiacake = Eat Cake
There's definitely a difference in taste when it comes to food for Italians and Cakers, and now I'm going to take this opportunity to give you some insight. Let me start off by telling you something about Kraft Dinner- it is not allowed in Italian houses. My mom never believed in "ready in 2 minute" boxed macaroni with powdered cheese. Of course there was always that curiosity in elementary school, when you're sitting at your desk having lunch, and see a kid whip out a thermos of KD. But then I went to a friends house for lunch one day, tried it with some purple ketchup on the side (when that was a thing.. the early 2000's were weird) and said screw this. I've never doubted my mom since. Don't get me started on Chef Boyardee- buddy who created it was Italian and he altered the spelling of the brand to help the mangiacakes pronounce it. Bottom line, ravioli in a can is NOT A THING. Don't eat it, don't pick it up at No Frills, and don't utter the words "Chef Boyardee" around an Italian. Pizza is an area that is probably more forgiving for Italian Canadians. In our minds, theres two types of pizza: the good thin crust, wood oven pizza that our ancestors made, and American pizza. You can maybe get away with us eating Pizza Pizza, Pizza Nova, and the occasional Pizza Hut. We accept it as kids for pizza lunch, and after a night at the bar. Just do not argue that it's the best pizza you've ever tasted, or we'll literally have a heart attack. Same goes with frozen pizzas, but we draw the line at going near those things. Do not utter the words Delivery, Delissio, or Ristorante, trust me.
Don't get me wrong, Mangiacakes are pretty awesome. My best friend for example, is the best person I've ever known outside of my family. However, Enise is not the average Mangiacake. She's been stuck with me since we were three years old, and she's been listening to me throw weird Italian traditions and terms at her for years. She understands my taste, and that I'm actually very happy when I'm "yelling". Enise's mom is from Belgium, and her dad is Canadian, and they're honestly my second parents. They're the nicest people in the entire world, and I love them to death. Growing up I've never had Kraft Dinner at Enise's house, because her mom is an amazing cook, and she does not allow that stuff in her house. They don't call "Ragu" tomato sauce, and they love authentic recipes of all cultures. I've had the best brownies I've ever tasted at Enise's house, and I've been spoiled with amazing artichoke dip on my birthday. I'm all about that.
Every Mangiacake has an Italian in their life. Whether it's a crazy coworker who's always bringing fresh pasta into work, or a neighbour next door, but if it's a friend, you're set. Yes, Italians are nuts, but we'll always have your back. If you're that coworker or neighbour of that crazy Italian, you don't want to miss out on a pretty sick friendship. Here are the benefits of being a Mangiacake, and having an Italian friend:
You'll never starve at your friend's house.
You'll have a second family to spoil you.
You'll always have an excuse to party.
You have your own personal Rosetta Stone.
You'll always get really cool gifts from your friend's visit to Italy.
You'll never eat mediocre tomato sauce.
You'll always go home with leftovers.
You'll have tons of good wine suggestions.
You'll always have live entertainment.
You'll realize your family is more normal than you thought.
I really hope you enjoyed this post! Whether you had a good laugh, or you learned something new. Enise, thank you for putting up with me, I love you!!!! To all the other Mangiacakes out there, keep caking it up!
Fa la brava,