The Student News Site of Olentangy Berlin High School

The Berlin Bulletin

The Student News Site of Olentangy Berlin High School

The Berlin Bulletin

The Student News Site of Olentangy Berlin High School

The Berlin Bulletin


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Americans embrace Italian culture

   The Columbus Italian Festival is held annually at the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

   This year it was hosted from Friday, Oct. 6 to Sunday, Oct. 8, but I have faithfully been a visitor since elementary school. This is an introduction to the food and festivities that encompass the Columbus Italian Festival.

   Over the years, visitors have steadily increased as even those without  Italian heritage, A.K.A. me; many learn of the celebration of Italian culture and want to join. The community events, however, have not changed as people represent where they come from within Italy. In the introduction ceremony, American Italians from specific cities hold their flag. They then sing the Italian National Anthem and the American “Star Spangled Banner.”

*All photos, courtesy of Rachel Bjorkman ’24








   Nearby high schools are also involved in the community festival. In fact, Desales’s principal attended the festival every year since 1980. Along with him, the Desales band is also a constant sight at the festival on Sunday. If Sunday isn’t available, there are plenty of activities on the other days with the real reason for attendance: the Italian food.

Julia’s Italian Pastries: Cannolis Rated 6/10

   Cannolis are a favorite of Italian desserts and are sold at multiple shops around the festival. Although I don’t have an extensive amount of cannolis to compare it to, the cream is filled to the brim and nothing is left out. The dough is firm but soft and easy to eat. Still, there’s not a strong flavor or texture. It’s a staple dessert to get, but nothing spectacular compared to some of the other foods available.

Julia’s Italian Pastries: Tiramisu Rated 7/10

   Similarly, the tiramisu is popular as a must-have along with the cannoli. As someone who’s made homemade tiramisu but isn’t a fan of coffee, the dessert was a pleasant surprise. Both the cake and custard are little and fluffy and the coffee doesn’t overpower the taste. However, although rather light, it is a bit too sweet and doesn’t capture the unique flavor of coffee or have a special texture.


St. John’s Church: Pizza 10/10

   If you look at the picture, I’m aware that the pizza doesn’t seem the most appetizing. I like a good slice of pizza, but I’m not a pizza lover by any means and would actually prefer the red sauce to be absent. Oil is the way to go for me. But let me tell you, there is a reason that it is advertised as the “Famous Church Pizza.” The sauce by far is the ingredient that ties the taste together and although it is $5, it is required to truly taste the essence of what foods the Italian Festival is built on.


Carfagnas: Pasta and Meatballs 4/10

   Multiple restaurants sell entrees in addition to pizza. Carfargna has been a constant seller and is stationed at prime spots around the Church. Underneath the right side of the church, Marrapese Hall connects to rooms full of seats, a hallway to the church itself, and a line to order pasta and meatballs. In the $10 Pasta Dinner, a meatball, a piece of bread, and salad are included, but other meatballs can be bought for one for $2 and three for $5.


Carfagnas: Italian Sausage 8/10

   The Italian Sausage is sold on the left side of the church in the front. In regards to the taste, the spice leaned towards a more flavorful taste rather than just hotter. The green peppers and onions were grilled to a firm and crunchy taste compared to soggy and matched well with the meat and other toppings. The only fault was the dry bun. It was Italian bread most likely as the bun though, so it wasn’t detrimental to the overall assessment. It is on the pricier side at $9.


St John’s Church: Homemade Pizzelles Vanilla: 8/10 Maple: 5/10

   With the abundance of flavors to choose from, I tried both the original vanilla flavor as well as maple. The original flavor was authentic in taste and pleasant to snack on or to just get a lighter food. It was crunchy but easy to chew and didn’t flood your mouth. On the other hand, the maple flavor was much larger in size, softer so it could bend and break, and significantly sweeter. It was still light and good to snack on but seemed to be almost “Americanized” as a sweeter version of the original vanilla.


CIAO! GELATO: Gelato 7/10

   Although it was chilly the day I tried the dessert, the gelato was a wonderful sweet treat that could be relied on. It wasn’t particularly spectacular in any way, but it cleared the senses and was a clean, easy taste that was flavored with familiar flavors such as caramel and mint chocolate chip that my sister and I chose. Many visitors have already tried gelato before, but any fan of traditional ice cream or soft-serve custard would especially enjoy the texture and sweet taste.


Cosmic Kettle Corn: Green Apple 3/10

   The Cosmic Kettle Corn is not handled by any employee and is one of the only free products at the festival. Consistently, they always have either kettle corn or regular popcorn available to try a taste of. This year, they added a new flavor of green apple-flavored popcorn. Although my interest peaked, I was sorely disappointed as the flavor changed very slightly or at all with only more sweetness added. To be honest, the biggest appeal was the bright color.

Other Events

   There were a multitude of foods and events provided at the Italian Festival such as taste testing olive oils and balsamic vinegars, attendance at Italian mass, hand-dipped nuts, pottery, and an entire section of carnival games and food. The only way to experience it all is your presence next fall in Columbus at the Italian Festival.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Bjorkman ’24
Photo courtesy of Rachel Bjorkman ’24
Photo courtesy of Rachel Bjorkman ’24
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About the Contributor
Rachel Bjorkman, Business Manager, Contributor
Rachel Bjorkman is a senior on the Bulletin. She is also the business manager. Her clubs include Humanities, Letters to Rose, NHS, and Claw Team. She is co-president of French Club and co-vice president of Exposed. In addition, she is involved in Orchestra as a viola. She enjoys time with her family and friends, board games, and loves to wear Berlin double blue.