Tag Archives: Caffe Sicilia
Joey a group of Gloucester Residents went to New York to support Paul Goldberg in his book Tutta la familglia here we are at a round table, we went up in the am and back same day but its was worth supporting local artist.
Sefatia, the hair is looking fantastic. You’ve got a little Farrah Fawcett thing going on there. Va Va Voom.
What fun was last night’s block party!!! The best event of the season was saved for the last, as the West End of Main Street Gloucester became “Little Italy.” The streets overflowed with hundreds of partygoers while Gianni and Terry Gallo broadcast live an episode of their new show, L’Italia Chiamò – Radio Show.
Artisan cheese maker Luca Mignogna served samples of his outstanding cheeses as Chef Paolo La Boa created delicious appetizers of prosciutto, complemented with his signature pesto. The slew of Vespas parked out front of Caffe Sicilia caused everyone to stop and oogle.
I wished I could have stayed for the entire evening but unfortunately had to hurry home. Looking forward to next year’s Block Parties although, I don’t know how they’ll ever top last night’s event!
Lisa Griffiths, also known as The Nutty Red Head, gets carded by Robin at the Cave–it makes her day!
Artists-in-the-Kitchen Maria Cracchiolo, and her parents Domenic and Nina Damico, demonstrate how to create beautiful bread in shapes symbolic of Saint Joseph and inspired by nature. Watch as Maria, Nina, and Domenic artfully shape angels, a carpenter’s saw, San Giuseppe scroll, Saint Joseph sun, snails, flowers, butterflies, grapes, and more.
Many thanks to Sefatia Romeo Thekan for the suggestion to contact Maria and family to interview for Gloucester’ Feast of Saint Joseph film project.
For improved viewing experience, click off the Vimeo HD icon in the bottom right hand corner and the video will load much more quickly.
As you will hear Maria’s story unfold (while deftly shaping the dough), her family’s tradition of making the Saint Joseph altar bread began several years ago, for a very heartfelt reason. In 2010, her young daughter was facing a very serious operation. Maria had never made the special Saint Joseph bread, but decided that year to make it her devotion to Saint Joseph. Maria taught herself how to shape the bread, finding inspiration in old photos of altars, and also from images, which she found online, of bread made in Sicily. Maria lived in Italy for five years, attending art school and studying fashion design. When I write “Artists-in-the Kitchen” you’ll see why after viewing the video.
Both of Maria’s parents, Nina and Domenic, were born in Sicily and grew up celebrating the Feast of San Giuseppe in the Sicilian tradition of feeding the poor and orphaned, and welcoming all who came to their table. Thank you Maria, Domenic, and Nina for graciously welcoming me into your Caffe Sicilia’s kitchen!
Saint Joseph Bread is available by special order at Caffe Sicilia. Call to place your order at (978) 283-2345
See previous posts related to Caffe Sicilia:
Sfinci di San Giuseppe Rounds off a Trio of Traditional Saint Joseph Treats from Maria Cracchiolo and Family at Caffe Sicilia
For non-Sicilians, like myself, you may be wondering what exactly are Sfinci di San Giuseppe? The way Maria, Nina, and Domenic make them, Sfinci are amazing creamy puffs, fried to golden-brown perfection, and filled with Caffe Sicilia’s heavenly light and fluffy sweetened ricotta, or the same ricotta, with mini-chocolate chips added.
Inside the beautiful box of Zepplole that Maria sent me home with after filming, were two Sfinci’s made moments earlier, fillled with ricotta, and garnished with candied orange peel and cherry. I hope my husband and son never read this post because after eating the first Sfinci di San Giuseppe, it was so fabulously delicious that I never gave anyone else a chance to try one and ate the second (although managing to save them each a Zeppole)! Habit-forming!
Sfinci have been a part of Sicilian cuisine for centuries. Traditionally they were served for dessert on Saint Joseph’s Day. Today they are a specialty of Palermo and are served all year round. Both Maria’s parents, Nina and Domenic Damico, were born outside of Palermo and spent their early childhoods there. I imagine that is one reason why the family knows how to create this sumptuously yummy treat!!! Sfinci is a wonderfully fun word to say and is pronounced something like this: sah-fin-chee, only you say the sah-fin syllables very quickly together.
Caffe Sicilia’s Sfinci di San Giuseppe are available, as are their Zeppole, through Easter. Because their Sfinci fly out the door as quickly as their Zeppole, place your orders for both ahead of time and call (978) 283-2345.
From the first moment I sampled Maria and Nina’s Zeppole, I thought I had died and gone to food-lovers heaven! And I am not the only one in my family who felt the same. After spending the morning filming at Caffe Sicilia where Maria, Nina, and Domenic graciously demonstrated making the special Saint Joseph bread and Zeppole, they very sweetly sent me home with a treasure box full of freshly made Zeppole. My husband and son generally prefer savory to sweet, but now I see I will have to make frequent stops at Caffe Sicilia to pick up Zeppole during Saint Joseph’s feast time!
Maria’s Zeppole pastry is airy and tender and makes a perfect nest for one of three different fillings offered at Caffe Sicilia; a light and fluffy perfectly sweetened ricotta filling, the same ricotta filling, but with tiny chocolate chips added, and the third filling is yellow cream. Honestly, I have never been a tremendous yellow cream filling fan, but that is because I never had Maria’s yellow cream. Hers is neither gluey nor gloppy, but rather a pale buttery yellow sweet and smooth-textured filling of creamy yumminess. Not only were the fillings mouth watering delicious, she also sandwiches a very generous helping of beautiful Amarena cherries between the layers of pastry and filling. Amarena cherries are a favorite of my husband’s and I think that too may be another reason why he fell in love with Maria’s Zeppole.
RUN, don’t walk, to Caffe Sicilia to sample their Zeppole! Although a traditional Saint Joe desert, Maria makes the Zeppole through Easter time as many have given up sweets for Lent. Because the Zeppole fly out the door as quickly as they are made, having the opportunity to try the dessert is rather hit or miss. I strongly advise that you place your order for Zeppole ahead of time. The Zeppole are conveniently available in a large and a smaller size. Call (978) 283-2345 to place your orders.
End Note ~ Amarena cherries are made from a small, bitter dark colored cherry, the amara cherry, which is grown in the Modena and Bologna regions of Italy. Gennaro Fabbri from Bologna developed the Amarena combination of cherries with syrup and it is still a family-owned business that produces a variety of cherry based products, including syrups, beverages, and pastries. Amarena cherries are often used to decorate chocolate desserts.
I typically find Amarena cherries in the pretty blue and white Fabbri jars at William Sonoma, but after looking up the spelling for this post, they are also readily available online.
Preparing and baking the special San Guiseppe bread is a family endeavor at Caffe Sicilia. Within an hour’s time, Maria, Nina, and Domenic created dozens of loaves of bread in religiously significant shapes of St. Joseph’s staff, angels, and even a carpenter’s saw, as well as beautiful and whimsical flowers, sun, snails, and bunches of grapes. While they artfully and deftly shaped and baked, they shared their St. Joseph’s stories for our camera. Thank you Maria, Domenic, and Nina!
Caffe Sicilia’s San Giuseppe bread is available for sale on March 18th, as well as by special order. Not only is it beautiful, but it is also out-of-this-world delicious!
Today was a joyful day and I am immensely appreciative. Many, many thanks to Maria, Nina, and Domenic from the bottom of my heart for their kindness and help with Gloucester’s St. Joseph film project.
Below are just some of the posts honoring last year’s participants. If you have not been contacted, please, we do not want to leave anyone out. Contact me at email@example.com if you would like your family’s story included in Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph film project. Thank you.
OMG, I have no idea how I didn’t know about this before today. Stop in, they sell them by the slice. Tremendous. $2 a pop.
Maria Cracchiolo of Caffé Sicilia Makes the Real Tiramisu
To be authentic, Maria says you need to use real Italian espresso coffee and Savoiardi, or Italian “lady fingers.” You can find both in Italian specialty stores.
Otherwise this no-cook dessert is surprisingly easy as you can see in this video made with Maria.
Check out the video at the Gloucester Daily Times Taste of the Times-
If you are the guy that still hasn’t bought that present for the special mom in your life let me guide you through a fail safe 20 minute guarantee to make them happy gift idea session.
All you have to do is head downtown to Gloucester’s West End.
Within one block there are 4 shops or more that will cover every gift giving idea and price range you could need.
Harbor Goods, the Life is Good store will be open from 11-6PM today.
At Caffe Sicilia you can pick up Canoli or Tiramisu for a quick visit and cup of coffee at your moms house. Caffe Sicilia is open from 7-1PM today.
A couple of doors down from Cafe Sicilia is the apparel shop First Impressions which has a wide range of designer clothes and handbags for very reasonable prices. Open 10-5:30PM
Across the street from First Impressions The Bookstore of Gloucester will be open from12-5PM. Pick up a book of local color or one of the ones recommended by the Mrs down in the post below.
All within about 30 yards of each other you can get in and out with a perfect gift all in Gloucester’s West End, without having to drive out of town to the malls.
I hope this helps any desperate people looking for gift ideas out there.
Caffe Sicilia Open 7-1PM Mothers Day
40 Main Street Gloucester
Pick up some tasty pastry treats at Caffe Sicilia.
Canoli, Lobster Tails, Gigilana Cookies, Tiramisu, and show up for some face time with that special mom in your life.
Tiramisu and Canoli score extra bonus points.