Crossing Atwells at the church.
Aisles too narrow for stroller.
Tiny hands smudging the deli display case.
Never “turkey” – always “turkey breast”.
Three flights back up.
A slathering from a butter knife, dripping with that savory spread, so intoxicatingly yellow.
Glass jar, no squeeze.
Today’s lunch consisted of Tofurkey on the last two slices from my sister (brought loaf over earlier in the week, see earlier post).
While at work, my mid-day meal certainly wasn’t from Carl and Dave’s Deli (RIP), but with the French’s mustard squirts (sadly, glass has since been retired) I could barely tell the difference.
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..