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5 Things I Learned From Other People’s Grandparents

My Grandmother's Ravioli hosted by Mo Rocca

On my new show, My Grandmother’s Ravioli, I’m learning how to cook from the experts — grandmothers and grandfathers who let me into their kitchens to share their wisdom. Here are 5 things they’ve taught me:

1. I learned from Ruth that gefilte fish is not an actual fish. (All you AP bio students out there, quit checking your taxonomy. It ain’t there.)

2. I learned from 91-year-old Gaetano Varbero how to fire a shotgun. (How else were we going to make venison stew?) Gaetano drives a pickup truck. He makes his own ammo. As I type this, he’s elk-hunting in Colorado. Did I mention he’s 91?

3. I learned a really great dirty joke from Tom Napolitano. Three guys from different armies were in a, um, “cathouse.” One was running up the stairs, one was running down the stairs. The other was behind a closed door. The first was a Russian, the second was Finnish and the third? Himalayan. (Mary, his wife of 62 years, rolls her eyes at this one.) We also made manicotti.

4. I learned from best friends — and grandmothers — Meena and Mona that the creamy heavy stuff we know as Indian food is Punjabi. Meena and Mona are Maharashtrian (from the region that includes Mumbai). Their food is much lighter, but still spicy and savory. Oh, and calling the cuisine “Indian food” is sort of like lumping German and Spanish food together and calling it “European food.”

5. I’ve learned that being a grandparent is almost all upside. (Being a parent is much more complicated.) Don’t get me wrong, I want to have kids. But if there were a way to jump right to the grandparent part? (Figure that one out, AP bio students.)

My Grandmother’s Ravioli premieres Wednesday, October 24 at 8:30pm ET.

Meet the grandparents, submit your best family recipe and find out more about My Grandmother’s Ravioli.

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  32. C Whitten posted 09/13/2014

    Thank you, Mo Rocca. "My Grandmother's Ravioli" is an absolutely beautiful, joyful and extremely funny experience.

  33. Julie Williams posted 10/14/2014

    Mr. Mo, Your show is wonderful! What a tribute to those grandparent's out there. You sure bring out the BEST in them! They have much to share, especially the culinary delight's that have been passed down to them. Awesome show! Period!!!

  34. Meg posted 10/23/2014

    I enjoy this show so much! Beyond the cooking there is so much to learn from these grandparents that have lived life and share their joys and hardships with us. This is my favorite cooking show ever, but it's so much more than that. Thank you Cooking Channel and Mr. Rocca. Keep the episodes coming!

  35. Jeanette Richetti posted 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    This is one of my absolute favorite shows. The episode with the Napolitano's was my favorite because Mary used an expression I've never heard anyone but my dear late Aunt Jean use – she said that Rock Hudson could .."put his shoes under my bed anytime!" Only I remember my 80 some odd year old Aunt Jean used to say it about a different Rock – Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson!! I started bawling with fond memories of my very special Aunt!

  36. Brittany posted 5 days, 18 hours ago

    I had to do a little hunting to find how to contact either Mo or Cooking Channel to comment about this show. I'm somewhat Food Network obsessed, but have never really given much attention to the Cooking Channel… that is until "My Grandmother's Ravioli". I'm kind of in love with the history and rich stories that are told on this show that seems to be all but lost today. I started watching the Clida Ellison episode because Ellison is the name of my company and my daughter's middle name and stayed glued due to the chemistry that Mo seems to have with these grandmothers. His random puns and jokes have me belly laughing and the smiles on these grandmothers faces are priceless. The race/culture barrier is broken when everything spoken is in love and people seek to genuinely learn of one another. Thank you!!!

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