Photo: Robert Fernandez
THE BITE: I don’t know when donuts took control of the police, but when I was a kid, the stereotype was always a cop and a cheese danish. I guess as Dunkin’ Donuts and the various 24-hour chains replaced the small mom-and-pop bakeries, donuts were just easier to obtain. The cop on the late night beat needed coffee to stay awake, and what better accompaniment than a donut?
Forget the donut – let’s go back the to cheese danish!
At A Taste of Sheepshead Bay this week, I was re-introduced to one of my favorite neighborhood institutions, T & D Bakery (2307 Avenue U – between East 23rd and 24th Streets). Their outstanding offerings of made-to-order canolli and mini pastries, reminded me of the wonders of the “mom-and-pop bakery.” It made me ask, and I hope it made you ask, why haven’t I been there lately?
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Photo by Laura Fernandez
Welcome to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we’ll be exploring a different food item from one of the many culturally diverse restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers of our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.
Readers, it’s time we put some Italian honey balls in our mouths. And, of course, we’re talking about struffoli from Vito’s Bakery & Grocery on Avenue U.
I was first introduced to struffoli by a little Italian grandmother soon after I moved to Sheepshead Bay over 20 years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Nona moved away years ago, taking her recipe with her, but I was lucky enough to discover Vito’s Bakery. Struffoli just like grandma used to make.
Keep reading about struffoli from Vito’s Bakery on Avenue U.
Finally fed up with Cuccio’s Bakery, I found myself saying the opposite of what the Godfather character Pete Clemenza told his partner in crime: “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” Well, not the gun part, but definitely the cannoli.
Cuccio’s Bakery is practically a landmark, having been established as a family-owned Italian bakery in 1936. The place does have an old-style charm with the simple interior and framed black and white picture of the store’s owner in his delivery truck from the days of old. But, with miser-filled, small cannoli at 95 cents each, that’s where the old style charm ends.
It looks like, though, I won’t be giving Cuccio’s any more opportunities to prove itself. Every time I buy their cannoli, each and every one of them has turned out to be barely filled. The little bit of filling you see in the picture above is a just a ruse.
Read more about Cuccio’s canNOli after the jump.
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