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January 27, 2012     Post-Gazette
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January 27, 2012

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POST-GAZETTE, JANUARY 27, 2012 Page7 New Bakers in the Neighborhood Frank DePasquale Opens Bricco Panetteria by Nicola Orichuia The following feature story is the first in a four-part series on the North End's bread bakeries. While Bricco Panetteria is the "new kid on the block," there are three remaining bread bakeries that are part of the neighborhood's history: Parziale's, Boschetto's and Bova & Sons. All four North End bakeries will be highlighted in this Post-Gazette series. Owner Frank DePasquale showing the wide variety of breads available at his new bakery Bricco Panetteria. Ever since opening "I1 Panino" in 1987, Frank DePasquale has been at the heart of the North End's business community, pro- viding restaurants that attract thousands of visitors each year. Now DePasquale is try- ing out something relatively new for him, opening his first bakery and joining a cen- turies-old tradition in the neighborhood, once renown for having one or more baker- ies on almost every street. "We do everything in-house," says DePasquale, "except for our own linen. What we were missing, though, was a bakery that could provide bread for all our restaurants. Now Bricco Panetteria serves that purpose, and it also provides bread for people stop- ping by wanting to buy it." To find the place, though, one needs to pay attention. Bricco Panetteria is tucked away at the back of the Bricco Ristorante build- ing on Hanover Street. A big sign leads the way down the alley that ends with the bakery's entrance -- a glass door that opens to a staircase leading down to the heart of the bakery. Buying bread at Bricco Panetteria adds to the value of actually see- ing where and how the bread is made, as the one room environment provides the op- portunity to take in all the essence and magic of bread making. "A fundamental ingredient to make our bread is passion," says DePasquale. "With- out it, you can't do anything. That's why I brought in the best bakers I could find. As for the recipe, it's about combining the best ingredients, the best flour, and the best wa- ter. I go to Italy at least once a year and have been observing various breads in dif- ferent bakeries. I noticed the texture was different and it was really good. So I wanted to replicate it." It is no surprise DePasquale wants to import Italian bread styles, as the business entrepreneur has been promoting the Italian way of life and culture in Boston for as long as he can remember. "I spent most of my childhood in Positano, on the Amalfi coast, and I try to go back as much as I can. I'm constantly observing chefs at work and talking with them. I try to bring back with me as much of their knowledge as possible. The goal is to make the North End the greatest Italian American commu- nity in the. country." In a way, DePasquale is succeeding in maintaining the old neighborhood tradition of bread making, bucking the trend of bak- eries going out of business over the past decades. In fact, the owner of Bricco Panetteria doesn't see his bakery as com- peting with the other three bakeries of the North End, but just adding value to the al- ready extraordinary breads found in the neighborhood. "I have restaurant owners come by to taste my bread, but if they tell me they buy their bread from one of the other neighborhood bakeries, then I don't sell my bread to them." The bakery, however, has been a hit suc- cess so far, after just a few months in busi- ness. Customers can see how the bread is made inside the large French ovens (which heat the bread on both the top and bottom) and even exchange a few words with head baker Ben Tock or Michael Rhoads, who take care of the daily operations that go into making several different breads. There's a bread for everyone: The classic baguette, olive ciabattas, sunflower and New York- style breads, as well as decorative crowns made of mini-baguettes. "We've had a phe- nomenal response," assures DePasquale, "with many repeat customers." A quick taste of Bricco Panetteria's superb olive ciabatta is guaranteed to have you return for more as well. SUPER BOWL SUNI)AII00 Kiokoff your Super Powl with SPINELLI'S PIRTY TRIYS i/uring half-time enjoy ... Fatty size pizza, eggplant parmesan, deft platters, buffalo tenders, chickm fingers, 6 foot subs 00'PINELLI'S Ravioli & Pastry Shop If 282 Bennington Street, East Boston I 19/--- Rt. 1, South Lynnfield [ 617-567-1992 * 781-592-5552 Mayor's Food Policy (Continued from Page 2) economic activity. The Farm Bill impacts major food programs including food access in schools, the food bank and pantry system, and food stamp benefits. The Farm Bill has the opportu- nity to play a major role in the economic health of the city, not only in terms of jobs, but in terms of health- related costs. "As the President develops his budget plan and the Con- gress looks at funding levels for the Farm Bill, we want to make sure that this legisla- tion is also a 'Food Bill' that will enhance the health, the economy and the well-being of America's cities," Mayor Menino said. Growing Entrepreneurship In Boston, $35 billion is spent on food annually. This year, Boston also launched its first official Food Truck program, adding more than 30 locally owned and oper- ated food trucks to Boston's streets and setting up a Food Truck committee of cross- departmental city employ- ees to help these business owners navigate the city's permitting process. Local Food Sourcing As consumers are in- creasingly paying attention to where the food comes from, Boston too is shifting how it sources food to a more local approach. In the Boston Public Schools, 41% of the food used to feed students comes from Massachusetts or a state bordering Massa- chusetts, and the city's two major convention centers have committed to sourcing 50% of their food products from Massachusetts. Boston also re.cently approved zon- ing changes that will allow for an Urban Agriculture Pilot Program to move for- ward in 2012, bringing freshly grown produce to Boston's urban neighbor- hoods. The Task Force will continue to explore local food sourcing as a means to in- crease access to healthy food, while supporting the local economy. Nutrition Policies In Boston, Mayor Menino has enacted a number of poli- cies to promote health and nutrition. In 2004, he banned sugary beverages from Bos- ton Public Schools and as a result, fewer youths report regular soda consumption. Mayor Menino also launched the Boston Bounty Bucks program to double the value of food stamp money at Boston's network of farmer's markets. Last year, Boston launched the "Re-think Your Drink" campaign, removing sugar-sweetened beverages from city properties, includ- ing police and fire stations, libraries, municipal build- ings, and food trucks on city streets. Food Desserts Over the past 20 years, the Menino administration has added 26 supermarkets to make sure that there is a supermarket in every neighborhood in the city. Still, many urban areas lack adequate access to fresh, nutritious, and affordable food. The Task Force will dis- cuss how to promote more community gardens (Boston has 165) and develop an urban agriculture strategy, a process currently under- way in Boston. 'In the inner city, obesity is too high and the availabil- ity of fresh, affordable foods is too low. So we must work hard to ensure that neces- sary and vital nutrition pro- grams such as the supple- mental food assistance pro- gram (SNAP) receive the necessary funding," Mayor Menino said. "Every person should have access to healthy, affordable food, re- gardless of their neighbor- hood or income." LUCIA RISTORANTE & BAR Traditional Italian Cuisine 415 Hanover Street, Boston 617,367.2353 11 MountVernon Street, Winchester 781.729.0515 PPivote [:unction Iooms foe anq Occasion Ckristeninc I . BI.I SI, o,,, B.I, St.o BrtM., B.vm.t, Etc. DonatoFraffaroli donato @