It was with a heavy heart that I made a sooner than previously expected return visit to Brooklyn this week to have the funeral for my husband’s beloved paternal grandfather – Pop Pop Frank.
While the 2.5 days I was in town pretty much just oscillated between mourning, riding in a car and eating, eating, riding in a car and mourning – one food element stood out in particular – the Brooklyn pastry shop.
We were in East Flatbush Brooklyn for the wake/funeral – but we were also back in my father –in-law’s childhood stomping grounds. It was great to see the playground they walked to as kids (a childhood friend outted it as the location they also drank their first 6-pack of beer as teenagers later that day!), where they would catch the bus to go to the movies and the overall ‘hood.
Many memories involved bakery items. Even my mother-in-law reminisced about her favorite item: the black & white cookies. (which I’m not into – but it goes to show the power of a childhood memory).
While discovering these things have been for me (for years) an exciting adventure – this is a bigger part of who they are/their history/their roots. These aren’t my childhood memories (far from it – I grew up a generation later – in Kansas), but those memories are POWERFUL regardless of where you came from and what your childhood memory set involves. I’m (literally) buying what they are selling…
I’ve visited an Italian “old-school” bakery before. I always thought the cookies were fun (nothing I drooled over or anything) and I can eat a cannoli – but the way that they haven’t changed the bakeries, they still tie up your boxes with string, etc. is what gets me every time. It’s consistent, with very little changes and full-blown old school.
We went to the Aliotta Pastry Shop on Avenue N – adjacent to the funeral home. Hot tip: It’s cash only, so if you’re going to go in and order like a baller-pig, you might want to be sure your cousin with more than the $7 you have is with you to pick up the tab J.
I bought a box of assorted cookies for my parents to sample when I returned to Georgia the next day. Many people got to enjoy the tastes of my in-laws childhood as we reminisced this week.