That's probably news to most people who live in this region, says John J. Righetti
of Ohio Township.The heritage and cuisine of Carpatho-Rusyns
-- people who trace their ancestry to the Carpathian Mountains of east-central Europe and their faith to the Eastern Christian church
-- aren't common subjects in history texts or community cookbooks.
There are familiar threads to other ethnic and religious groups, Righetti
says, which makes Rusyns quite recognizable to Pittsburghers, however.
...Righetti, food festival chairman and national president of the the Carpatho-Rusyn Society, hopes the event sparks interest not only in Rusyn (pronounced ROOS-en) foods but in the culture and heritage.
...Some show strong influences from neighboring cultures, including Hungarian, Romanian and Polish, says Righetti, who is executive director of communications for Butler Hospital in Butler.
Last Saturday, Righetti
, his wife, Jackie, and their children -- Caitlin, 17; Alex, 15; Ileana, 12; and Andrew, 7 -- worked with parishioners Bob and Carol Willgruber of Economy and two friends of Righetti -- Alice and Helen Bires, both of Forest Hills -- putting finishing touches on several Rusyn
delicacies for the three-day food festival.