An Italian Tradition Since 1917… Just Don’t Call It “Crugg-nail’s”

Growing up in Providence, everyone had their favorite bakery – D Palmieri’s, Scialo Bros., DeLuise, P Guadagni’s (RIP)… In our family, it was Crugnale’s (say it with me now, Crewn-yah-lay).

Led by her incessantly pastry-craving sweet tooth, Frances would escort us from the third floor, down the steep descent that was Cambridge, through Academy, until finally we reached our destination at the corner of Newark and Valley. It was a mighty troop for my converse-clad four-year old peds, but to be greeted by the aroma of freshly baked, well-done Sicilian loaves made it all worthwhile.

When gazed upon under the proper conditions, translucent spirals seemingly leapt from the dense cell structure of each slice – standing metaphor for the steadfast dedication to hard work and unwavering familial bond, whom their exclusively blue-collar clientele gratefully savored these nice, crusty pagnotta with. Plus they had these to chomp on, making the trek back that much less dreadful.

Ok, so perhaps in retrospect Crugnale’s Bakery may have not been the most renown (compared to those on the “authentic” side of Atwells Ave), but as was just outlined, they certainly were the closest. By virtue of our spacial proximity, we were however able to experience the most delicate sfogliatelle, most perfectly tart fig squares and perhaps most frequently consumed at 27 Sears Ave, the iridescently food-dyed marble pound cake – which was always good to have on hand… you know, for when the kids come visit..

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