2015 Holiday Staff Picks – Anything Goes

Gift BoxLast week, we brought you Part 1 of our two part Holiday Staff Picks. From silicone baking mat sets to personalized serving boards, we chose the must-have items that we think any cook or baker would absolutely love to receive this holiday season – all for under $50.

But for those who prefer to go all-out with their gifting, we’ve rounded up a list of our most coveted kitchen tools that are sure to wow that special person in your life.
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2015 Holiday Staff Picks – Under $50

Gift BoxThe holidays are just around the corner, and we’re back with our fourth annual two-part Holiday Staff Picks!

This week, for part one, we asked our staff what tools under $50 they think would be the perfect gift to give or receive this holiday. Here’s what they told us:
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How to Choose the Pizzelle Iron That’s Right For You

Making pizzelle with the Palmer Model 1000While perusing our shelves full of beautiful and intricately designed pizzelle irons, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. “Which one do I want? Which one is the best?” are common questions we encounter – and the answers to these questions will vary based on your preferences.

The most important questions you need to ask when choosing an iron are these:

“Do I prefer an uncoated cast aluminum finish or a nonstick coating?” and “Do I like my pizzelle paper thin, or a little thicker?”

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Local Flavor: Cookbooks from Philly Chefs, Butchers, Bloggers and More

Philadelphia has so much to offer the food world – from amazing restaurants, to the convenience of shopping in our large, open-air market for fresh produce, to our rich culture of food writing. Over the last few years, we’ve seen an abundance of local talent that have published some pretty fabulous food-related books, all of which you can find in our store!


And Now We Call It Gravy

The book can be placed upright for easy reading while creating authentic Italian dishes at home.

Sonny D'Angelo

Author Sonny D’Angelo in his 9th Street Italian Market butcher shop

#4999 And Now We Call It Gravy

Sonny D’Angelo‘s And Now We Call It Gravy, is a one-of-a-kind Italian Market treasure, written by third generation butcher and owner of D’Angelo Bros. Meat Market. Filled with traditional recipes, and interspersed with historical anecdotes that reflect the flavor of the 9th Street Italian Market and community, this is truly a South Philly favorite.

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Nadia’s Gravy Day – A Family Affair


Making gravy is involves all members of our family – even the kids!

Growing up, we always spent one full weekend making gravy (pasta sauce) to last us for the year. My parents and 5 siblings would go to the farm and pick tomatoes, then to our shore house in New Jersey to clean and prep them for cooking and canning.

We cooked the tomatoes on an outdoor brick and metal stove made by my father, which was fueled by wood. We then used a hand cranked tomato machine (like the Roma Food Strainer and Sauce Maker) to puree them into a sauce. It was long and exhausting to process the 10 bushels using a manual machine, as well as keep the fire going on the wood burning stove. It would be late into the night  before all the jars were done. Read the rest of this entry »

Fante’s Custom Coffee Blends

Fante's Coffe of the Day MenuJust a walk into our brick and mortar shop in Philadelphia’s historic Italian Market, and you’ll often hear the exclamation, “It smells amazing in here!” Hang a right past the cutlery case, and you’ll find a wonderland of everything from green, unroasted coffee beans to flavored coffee blends, and all the necessary tools to make the ultimate cup of joe.

For years, we’ve been collaborating with only the best coffee roasters to bring you exclusive blends and roasts that we feel proud to call our own. Here’s a breakdown of signature coffees that you can only find right here at Fante’s:

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Tomato Machines – Mariella’s Summertime Tradition

Summer holds so many great food memories from my childhood in Italy. One of my favorites is the smell and taste of a ripe tomato right off the vine. Everyone in our town had a vegetable garden, and no matter its size, there were always lots of tomato plants. After all, the gravy (sauce) that we canned had to last for a whole year of pasta meals.


Nonna Assunta with her baby, our Mamma Antonietta

My nonna loved to harvest the plum tomatoes. She cut them in half, squeezed the seeds and liquid out, sprinkled them with salt and placed them on a white sheet in the sun to dry. While helping nonna, I got to taste them as they grew progressively dryer and more intense in flavor. Yum!

My mom did the rest of the work with the tomatoes. She blanched them and ran them through a food mill to remove the skin and seeds, and then put them in jars. It was a time consuming task that was repeated a number of times during tomato season, and well worth it.

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