Food has been a vital factor in the experience of Italian immigrants to the United States at the turn of the twentieth century as well as the American-born generations of their children and grandchildren. Food provided them with a widely shared means of cultural identification, social cohesion, and economic opportunities.
The Nativity Scene imparts insights into why millions of immigrants left Italy and established their presepe (Christmas cribs) elsewhere, in the new Promised Land ... Through the image of the presepe, The Nativity Scene presents a dramatic debate over the place and significance of Italy's rich and powerful iconic heritage, and the myths and rituals attendant upon it as shapers of social life.
(Kevin Z. Moores)