There’s no better time than Columbus Day to sample what Italian cuisine has to offer. And you’d better hurry before it’s all banned. Let’s face it: Today’s food police have Americans convinced that fried calamari should be on the trans fat chopping block, cannoli need an “F” rating (for Fattening), and prosciutto is just an Italian word for “cruelty to animals.”

There’s an old Italian proverb that might apply to today’s food activists: A chi dai il dito si prende anche il braccio. (“Give them a finger and they’ll take your whole arm.”) So whether you’re “from the old country” or not, we recommend sampling an Italian dish or two before someone, somewhere decides you shouldn’t have it.

And if you’re really in the mood to take a stand for common sense tonight, may we suggest the Veal Parmigiana? That wonderful Italian staple — veal — is quite possibly the most maligned food you’ve never tried. And if animal rights activists get in your way, just remind them of these four simple words: A ciascuno il suo. (“To each his own.”)