Author Archives: Fante's Kitchen Shop

About Fante's Kitchen Shop

One of America's oldest and most distinguished resources for cooks' wares, established in 1906 in the heart of Philadelphia's historic Italian Market.

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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Filed under Cookie, Holiday, Pizzelle

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.

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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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Filed under Canning

In Vino Veritas: The Truth About Homemade Wine

Jules EspositoIn South Philadelphia, bottles of homemade wine flow freely as hostess gifts and gracious thank yous from friends and family. Most of them have three things in common:

  1. The gifter thinks highly of you to share their precious stash.
  2. You must be incredibly grateful for their generous gift and enjoy it, or at least pretend to love it.
  3. It will almost certainly be more palatable as salad dressing than wine.

Jules Esposito, Jr. is determined to change the perception that homemade wine is nothing more than glorified vinegar. Jules is our cousin, and far from the average twenty-something. By day, he works alongside his family at Esposito’s Porchetta (1627 S. 10th St., Philadelphia, PA 19148). You may have enjoyed their sandwiches at any number of festivals in the area. In his free time, he crafts delicious homemade wines. Continue reading

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Filed under Beverage, Wine