Memories are a funny thing….the simplest thing can bring them back like they were yesterday, and memories of food….mmmm!
I sat next to a friend this week at a lunch meeting and noticed right away a single biscotti sitting on the table next to her…I didn’t know if I could sit there and watch her enjoy it….you see I just love Biscotti. It prompted some conversation about being Italian, how a single Biscotti had sat around her husbands office for weeks before he brought it home to her, (good guy)and the history of Biscotti…she knew it, I didn’t.
When I was a kid, there was this awesome Italian deli we frequented and every time we walked in, it smelled so good and there was a good chance that I would beg my mom for a cookie! Once in a while, we’d get a treat and she’d buy a biscotti cookie, crunchy hard and oh so good.
That simple thought, of a cookie, got me thinking about that deli. It was called La Prima Bakery in Whittier, we went to that “Italian store” often. There was just no other place like it, people would actually “drive the miles” to get bread and as much as I’ve tried, I can’t find anywhere like it!
There were many favorites, we all loved getting cold cuts for Sunday afternoon sandwiches but the little extras….mmm. Marinated olives, I know your thinking…”they’re everywhere”, but these were different from other olives, dry hard pepperoni, not the kind you find in most deli’s or stores, and provolone cheese, super sharp very distinctive provolone cheese, those were some of our faves. My mom says she’s never found ricotta cheese like that place…she makes the best lasagna.
I wondered if La Prima Deli was still there and the thought crossed my mind that “if”, it was still there….could it still be as good….would the history and authenticity have changed with the years. I hoped not. I’m not sure if there’s something in the air, but today, another family member called wondering the name of that favorite deli ….they were also reminiscing about the food. I decided to check out the internet, and it’s still there, I’ll have to try to get back there and bring back some childhood memories. I sure hope it’s like I remember it.
There are some things that are just not appreciated unless you have grown up enjoying them. Many people including my husband and children cannot understand why I like that “stinky cheese” or why I get excited about cooking pepperoni on a fork over the stove burner, but that’s ok. I’ll keep those acquired tastes and the memories that they bring. I know that when I do find a provolone cheese, similar but not exactly the same, as the La Prima deli, that it’ll be in the refrigerator for me when I want it. It’s one thing that my family won’t touch! And the fact that I don’t have to worry about mom getting mad because there’s a mess on the stove from cooking pepperoni is satisfying!
But the best part….while writing this evening, I googled “biscotti”, to check out that history my friend told me about, and I found several recipes for the treat. Original almond flavored crunchy Biscotti, is my favorite and I NEVER even considered that I could make it. I got so excited! It even looks easy! I’m gonna give it a try!