Monday, May 28, 2007

No more zeppole: La Contessa sings

Another neighborhood bakery sells its last tart. This time it's in Davis Square, as reported by the Globe's Peter DeMarco:
...at La Contessa, which is closing after nearly 50 years in business, tradition was everything. A statue of St. Anthony stood watch over the counter, even as hip restaurants and Internet cafes opened around the corner. Magliaro, who retired in 2000, learned his trade in the North End during the Depression and never changed a recipe. During holidays, window signs would advertise specials like zeppole or pizza chiena that only a true Italian would recognize.
I have to confess some guilt here: I went to the Contessa only about three times in five years, and I'll probably go to the sushi bar that's replacing it a couple of times a week. But as DeMarco points out, baked goods aren't as popular as they used to be. When I'm not bringing liquor to a friend's house or to a party, I usually bring cheese, olives, or some kind of appetizer (often from Dave's Fresh Pasta, which has become a neighborhood hangout in the same way that bakeries and soda fountains used to be). The same people who refuse dessert on dietary principle are often too hungry to pass up appetizers, so decadent foods have migrated to the first course of the evening. It's rather sad when one has to trick acquaintances into enjoying themselves.

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