I'm a Chickarina Recidivist
Years later a similar soup started showing up at soup joints, corporate cafeterias, and cans by Campbell's, called Italian wedding soup. Apparently a traditional soup for Italian weddings was the inspiration for Chickarina. For some reason it took over thirty years for chicken soup with meatballs to become popular in the U.S. outside the confines of a Progresso can. I wonder who was responsible.
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Do I believe chicken soup helps one fight a cold? Well, Marvin Sackner told me it does. Dr. Sackner, a pulmonary specialist, conducted the pioneering study in 1978, which he published in the journal Chest (which is not shelved next to Juggs). It suggested that chicken soup was more effective than other hot liquids for alleviating congestion. I got it straight from the Doc's mouth maybe ten years later, when fiction writer Richard Grayson and I visited Marvin and his wife Ruth in their South Florida home to see their amazing collection of art and books, The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry. With over 45,000 items (including several by yours truly), the Sackners' collection is surely the largest archive devoted specifically to creative work that integrates text and image (and it has grown well beyond its original concrete poetry focus). There's even a film about the archive. Marvin's work on chicken soup was later amplified by the research of Doctors Ziment and Rennard, but I'll bet their art collections and personal libraries aren't nearly as interesting.