MOVING TO THE NORTH END made Michele Topor, 52, what she is: a devotee of Italian culture and food, a cooking teacher, and a guide who leads culinary tours in her historic neighborhood.
Do you have to be Italian to do what you do?
I’m 100 percent Polish, but I grew up eating wonderful, fresh, good food. My dad was a butcher, and my mom is a wonderful chef — Polish, though. This was in Three Rivers, a Polish, French Canadian, and very Catholicvillage [in Palmer]. When I moved into this neighborhood, in ’71, I had never even eaten spaghetti. Tomatoes were for salad or stewing as a side dish. I’m sure I drove people crazy asking what is this, how do I cook it, how do you eat it? (more…)