Bread can be funny. We had some marvelous bread when we were in Italy back in March. It was spongy in texture, almost an airiness, yet still chewy. In Rome we were a few blocks from the Colosseum and bought sandwiches made with this bread a couple of times at a small deli, just simple fare of bread, meat, and cheese - no condiments or lettuce, yet delicious. We even asked the deli owner why the food was so good in Italy. After a moment while he summoned up the words he said, “Government…Mafia. Church…Mafia. Mafia…Mafia. Mafia like good food!”
So back in St. Louis we searched for it. We went to The Hill, the Italian section of town where they still publish a newspaper in Italian. Some old-timers still there who emigrated from Italy and a lot of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation Italians there. It’s where Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola grew up. Could not find it there at any of the bakeries.
Then this past weekend we were doing a day trip to winery country and we decided to wander, and we turned off the main road to follow a sign to a small resort that’s owned by one of the old money families in St. Louis, the Vatterotts. People have weddings there now, etc. So we drive up to this small resort modeled to look like an Old West town and go to the restaurant there for lunch, and on the menu they tout their “world famous bread.” So we order and when it arrives…it’s the same kind of bread we had in Italy!
So we know where to go for it now, though it’s a 90 minute drive. At least it’s a nice drive to wine country. We’ll make it now and then.