I had the honor of following a food professional (and blogger) around recently on a tour of some of the pasty shops in the Bronx. He has a specialty and focus on old-school traditional joints. His preference is for Italian but anything that has been around for a long time will grab his eye.
The main event of the day was Sal and Dom’s Pastry shop. This place was impressive to say the least. They have been in business for over fifty years! It was quite the honor to be trailing along with my friend as it was my pass to behind the counter and in the kitchen!!
This is a true family affair in the shop! I was told that they have a large portion of customers who frequented the original shops as a child and now bring back their own children. I was told one touching story of a lady who called and wanted to know if they could re-create her late mother’s wedding cake as a way to honor the mother at her wedding. When she showed up for her consultation, the daughter realized it was a cake her dad had made years ago. She recognized the work and they were able to recreate it down to the icing details and flavors. The fact that this is possible makes me smile. This is what food was meant to be! Families sharing with other families.
They also use some of the original machines in the shop from the 1950s! It could be the same machine that created a relative’s cake that aids in the creation of yours. As we were shown the refrigerator with the wedding cakes, I asked how many do they make a week. This tiny family shop creates by hand 25-35 cakes a week during their busiest season. I was told that it has been a great change to see so many varieties of wedding cakes being asked for. Apparently many decades ago, there were only a few cakes and design basics considered appropriate for a wedding. But today, every bride and wedding has unique requests! This must be a great thing to be able to witness!
I apologize for the quality of the pictures. I could not locate my digital camera and I had to resort to my outdated Droid X phone.
This pastry shop is truly doing it the right way! The family is so friendly and wants to share their food and culture with everyone who walks in the door. I will be back in the future!