Carl Paladino may be trailing in polls for the New York governor's race, but in Santa Croce, a tiny town in southern Italy, he's as popular as they come. Paladino visits the town frequently to see his extended family. His father emigrated from Santa Croce to western New York in 1926, along with his mother and siblings; Paladino's grandfather was already living in Buffalo.
What does the fiery businessman, known for his uncouth outbursts, like to do when he visits the tiny hilltop village and the 17 Paladinos who currently live there? According to the New York Times' Gaia Pianigiani:
Mostly, he travels to attend weddings and funerals or just to relax.
His cousins say he likes to eat. His favorite menu includes Santa Croce parmigiana, with fried eggplant, minced beef and mozzarella, followed by tagliolini in chicken broth, and pizzaiola, a dish with beef, tomatoes, garlic and rosemary. He particularly enjoyed homemade meals at the home of his favorite cousin, Albina, who died in March.
"He'd just say 'Albina, I love you,' " recalled her son, Carlo Rosati, 39. "And then he'd eat, eat and eat."
Mr. Paladino also enjoys sipping cappuccino at a bar once owned by a cousin and driving to a nearby town to buy clothes.
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