Sparacino Bakery Brooklyn, © NY Vincenzo Aiosa
I discovered Sparacino Bakery in the nineties, when I had my shop on South First Street. The bread was very good but they had the tendencies to run out of it,so must of the time there was no bread @ 4.30 in the afternoon.
What kept me going back was the fact that it was the only bakery in the neighborhood, and their unapologetic, rudeness with costumers who were not locals.
In the early eighties, I lived in the East Village – not the trendy neighborhood it is today. I used to shop at the C Town on Fourth Street and First Ave. Palagonia Bread was the only bread you could buy after the local baker on 2nd Street and 1st Ave was forced out by the landlord. The way I like to eat bread is to brush it with olive oil, oregano, salt pepper and bake it 5 minute at 325ºF. Decent to delicious ciabattas are now available everywhere in the city, rendering Palagonia mediocre at best – certainly not the finest in the world. Never was.
Previously posted on Fading Ad Blog:
Junius Street - Brownsville, Brooklyn - © Frank H. Jump
Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods, dating back to the Neolithic era. The development of leavened bread can probably also be traced to prehistoric times. – Wikipedia
At one time, Palagonia was the ONLY Italian bread you could buy at a corner deli. I wouldn’t call it the best anymore. Vincenzo is a fan of Cityline’s Rosamaria Bakery on 101st Street – if you want a really good semolina bread.Only buy breadand cookies stear clear fom cold cuts. Another favorite of ours is Paneantico Bakery off 65th Street & 14th Avenue in Bensonhurst.
75-19 101st Avenue - Cityline - © Vincenzo Aiosa
My family's favourite bakery in Torino, Italy. © Vincenzo Aiosa
Pane Pugliese (Puglia region style bread) © Vincenzo Aiosa
Apulia is an excellent region in which to grow grain, especially the hard wheat referred to as grano duro or semolina. There is a long tradition of bread making in Apulia, dating back to the Roman empire. The Pagnotta is the traditional bread, and is a large loaf which can weigh well over a kilo and up to ten. Today, formulae are found that specify both durum flour and 0 or 1 type flour. – Pane Pugliese
Serving bread is very important for a meal to be considered complete in Italian culture. Growing up I don’t think we ever had a single meal without bread. I started early in the morning with Pane con caffè latte, preferring it to biscuits. Even to this day I crave it at least once a week. Bread is even served in most Chinese restaurants in Italy by request.