This week sees the continuation of the ‘History: Remembering a Neighborhood’ series by my immensely talented father, Jerry R. Giuliano. Please enjoy this wonderful piece, and – if you missed it – catch the rest of the series.

History: Remembering a Neighborhood

History: Remembering a Neighborhood Pt VI: The Treats That Bound A Community

by Jerry R. Giuliano

Previously: From Coal Black to Rainbows to Snow White

The site of Mike's Italian Bakery

The site of Mike’s Italian Bakery

Mike, the neighborhood’s best commercial Italian Baker, operated the town’s only Italian bakery. Every day, his bakery filled the neighborhood air with the smooth smell of warm, crusty, bread, and a variety of mouthwatering sweets. At Christmas, the air took on the spicy scent of peppermint candy canes. And, the Easter air was infused with the soul soothing fragrance of chocolate and coconut.

Mike lived in one of the two apartments, above the bakery, with his wife, their son, and daughter. Relatives were in the other. The entrance to the apartments was through a small courtyard on the left side of the building. There was a separate door in the front, center, of the building, leading to a small office/foyer that formally introduced the long, narrow, bakery space that followed.

Italian treats

Italian treats

The oven, which took up the entire width of the wall, was on the front end of the bakery, and giant stainless steel mixers were along the sides. In the middle, there were tables, conveyor belts, and the assembly line surrounded by the people who made the seasonal candy and who were not covered in flour.

Mixed with floury thoughts of the bakery, I see Mike reaching for a pan filled with loaves of bread. He uses a thin, 10 X 10 square feet, wooden spatula, attached to a wooden handle that must be, at least, one thousand feet long.  Hand over hand over hand over hand, he pushes the pole until the spatula slips under the pan farthest back, then switches all the pans until each occupies a different parking spot. Finally, he selects a pan, pulls it out, places it on a table and asks, “Which one?” All of them are drool inducing, golden brown, warm, and smell like heaven which, I have been schooled to know, is a place I may not get to if I snitch a little taste on the way home.

Italian sub

Italian sub

The bakery was a whole lot more than a bakery. It was also place where the experienced Italian mothers met when special events, like weddings, were about to take place.  The space, tables, ovens, proximity, and Mike’s generosity, offered the ideal place for the local ladies to prepare cakes, cookies and sandwiches that would appear in great quantity at the reception… biscotti, pizzelli, fig-filled cookies, Italian Crème cake.   And, the sandwiches: gigantic cardboard boxes filled to the brim with Mike’s round Kaiser, or long torpedo rolls, stuffed with mounds of prosciutto, capicola, salami, and provolone.  These great creations are known as Subs, Gyros , Heroes, Grinders, Dagwoods, Italians, PoBoys, Torpedos, Zeps, or Hoagies.  Nowadays you can get a variation of them almost anywhere. But I have never tasted a better one than the ones, premade by a group of black dress wearing ladies, and plucked out of a huge   cardboard box, at a neighborhood Italian wedding.  There was a bonus if you happened to be a 7th grade school kid, related to the bride or groom; you got to take leftover wedding sandwiches to school every day, until graduation.

Mike’s Bakery is gone. It was converted to residential condominiums; twelve of them.

Five Mouthwatering Italian Recipe Videos

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Recipe Demonstration –

Recipe here: Stephanie Jaworski of demonstrates how to make Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti. Long and curved with rough jagged edges, these delicious Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti are dotted with chunks of toasted hazelnuts. They have a deep chocolate flavor that comes from adding both unsweetened cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate to the batter.

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Sicilian cannoli – Italian recipe

Finally, Sonia shows us the recipe for the famous Sicilian cannoli, crispy shells filled with a tempting ricotta filling… try and make them at home!
Find this and many more recipes with pictures on the Giallozafferano App (in English)


Today we’ll hop over to Sicily to prepare one of the best and famous desserts of this amazing island: the cannoli. It’s very hard to resist this delicacy made of a crispy shell filled with a tempting ricotta cream filling. They’re not difficult to make at home, just get hold of the special metal tubes. Let’s see together what ingredients we’ll need:
For the cannoli shells, we’ll have:

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Rum baba – original Italian Recipe

Rum soaked cakes from the Neapolitan cookbook — enjoy these boozy delights from GialloZafferano, Italy’s #1 food website.
Find this and many more recipes on the Giallozafferano App in English


Welcome to the GialloZafferano kitchen. I’m Sonia and today we’ll be making a dessert that exemplifies Neapolitan cuisine: Baba. Let’s see what we’ll need

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Bruschetta caprese – Italian recipe

Classic Italian flavours, simple preparation. Use the best ingredients you can find for a special starter! From GialloZafferano; Italy’s most famous food website.
Find this and many more recipes on the Giallozafferano App in English


Hi everyone and welcome to the Giallo Zafferano kitchen. Today we’ll be preparing an appetizer that is as delicious as it is quick to prepare: Bruschetta Caprese. Of course bruschetta is a starter that’s eaten throughout Italy and that can be found all over the world, but this type is prepared with traditional ingredients from the Campagna region — mozzarella di bufala and gaeta olives.
Let’s see what ingredients we’ll need:

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Chocolate Macaron Recipe (Italian Meringue)

From Bouchon Bakery, the Chocolate Macarons. Share this video!


This recipe is a little bit different from the first French Macaron recipe that I showed you because it uses the Italian Method. I actually prefer this method a little bit more because it gives stable results and comes out perfect almost every time. So I’m going to show you how. Let’s get started!

***update*** To avoid liquidy results and to form the correct soft peaks, whip it on low for 2 minutes until the egg is foamy, and then increase the speed to medium low and whip for 5 minutes. the peaks should be soft but not stiff or glossy.

if you are getting liquidy results, try to stabilize the egg whites by adding 1 tsp of sugar into the egg whites and mix as directed above.**********

You’re going to need:
– a scale because we’re going to be measuring everything out in grams.
– 212 grams (1 3/4 cups + 2 1/2 tablespoons) of almond flour,
– 184 grams (1 3/4 cups) of powdered sugar,
– 28 grams (1 tbsp) of high quality unsweetened cocoa powder,
– 82 grams (3 eggs) of egg whites,
– and another (3 eggs) 90 grams of egg whites because we’re going to divide it up in this recipe,
– 236 grams (1 cup + 3 tablespoons) of granulated sugar,
– and 158 (2/3 cup) grams of water.

First take a large bowl and sift together your almond flour, powdered sugar, and chocolate powder. Mix it well, then make a little well in the mixture, and then add your 82 grams of egg whites in. Then take a spatula and stir it evenly until it becomes a thick almond paste.
In a small saucepan combine your granulated sugar and water and put it on the stove on medium-low heat. Heat it up until it becomes a thick syrup, and once it reaches 248

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The Montgomeryville-LansdalePatch has some amazing “Then and Now” pictures of Lansdale at the links below:

Also on the blog: Names by Jerry R. Giuliano