Tag Archives: oven

Two Different Breads Baked in Old World Style Ovens in North Carolina

I should preface this post by saying I love bread from the “old country,” that is, bread made from good ingredients in a traditional manner. It’s very hard to find bread like this, at least Italian bread, anymore, as the neighborhood bakeries closed. In New York City, the bakeries still exist in the Bronx on Arthur Avenue. Italian bread is traditionally crusty. Some places like Whole Foods replicate Italian breads, but they just don’t hit the mark. Luckily, I got to have bread from some great bread bakeries around the NYC area before they closed. So I’m always on the lookout for good bread, and I have great respect for the tradition of bread baking.

In my North Carolina travels, I found two bread ovens, one constructed a long time ago and one constructed recently, but that both make traditional breads.

Le Phare des Alpes is a men’s club in Valdese, North Carolina, that was started as a mutual aid society by the Italian Waldensians who founded the town in 1893. A few years ago, I wrote an article about a traditional Waldensian sausage called soutisso for Primo magazine (scroll down the link for the recipe). I met some of the men at the men’s club during one of the bocce tournaments they host there. I was privy to a special treat that happens only once or twice a year, the baking of bread in the old oven. I feel honored to have gotten to try this bread since it is a traditional food done on rare occasions. The oven was made by Waldensians out of the local field rock. It is a gorgeous sight to see.

The bread is hard and crusty and was used in the way Italians use bread–for dipping in coffee, wine and soup.

Now, being Italian, I am familiar with Italian breads. I am not, however, familiar with Middle Eastern breads, and was introduced to the diamond-shaped samoon by a trip to Baghdad Bakery in Cary, North Carolina. The shop sells other types of bread as well and is open all week except Monday.

When I walked in and saw the oven a few years ago, I knew I had found something special.

–Dina Di Maio

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Two for Tuesday: Appliance and Dinnerware Stores

If you are looking for the best in kitchen appliances, Krup’s Kitchen & Bath in Chelsea is the place to go.  If you want something with a retro feel or in a unique color, Krup’s has it.  Look at this adorable 1950s-style refrigerator from Smeg in pink:

refrigerator

How about this adorable oven range from BlueStar in purple:

oven

Fishs Eddy is the quintessential store for dinnerware with its interesting and kitschy designs.  If you’re a NYC fan, there are many local patterns like the New York skyline, the tunnels, the Brooklyn bridge, dog walkers, Brooklyn and more.  I got the Brooklynese set for my mom.

Fishs eddy storefront

They have other designs too like Alice in Wonderland, the New York Times crossword puzzle and this pretty pattern from Lotta Jansdotter that I wrote about before.

creamer and coffee mug

creamer and coffee mug

Fishs Eddy also has a cool collection of vintage dishes dating back to 1903.

vintage fishs eddy

I also like these small trays. I got one that’s a recipe card, but there are others like a parking ticket, a lotto ticket, a restaurant check, a prescription and more.

recipe card