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mamma bravo

If you hang around Italian Canadians much, you'll occasionally hear them use the term "mamma bravo", as in, "No thanks, I'm not wearing those mamma bravo earrings." (The earrings in question here would be large, golden hoops.)

You might not know however where this term comes from: pasta sauce. Specifically "Bravo" brand, which featured an artist's rendering of a "typical Italian mother" (or mamma) on its label.

Today's great Italian is the "Mother of All Mamma Bravos," the perfectionist cook who concocted the sauce, and on whose proud matronly visage the label drawing was based. Today's great Italian is Rose Viggiani.

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