A family man and a soldier make for a lonely mix. Being away from your family at holiday time and special dates like birthdays and anniversaries is bad enough. But when you are used to the tastes of home and are given rations that are merely sustenance on a daily basis each bite can bring on a state of melancholy.
One lucky soldier serving in Bagdad recently received a welcome package from home. It seems that his loving family, who are originally from Italy and now reside in America, have enjoyed the delicacies of My Little Taste of Italy for generations. When the owner, known as Mama Gloria, traveled with her family to the old country to visit her grandparent’s villages, her passion to bake and serve authentic cookies and cakes from her heritage was ignited.
The two families, from Italy, met in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania at an Italian-Presbyterian Church in the early 1900s. The pastor of that church, Italian himself, worked tirelessly to provide a haven for Italian immigrants where they could hold on to their roots and traditions while learning the language and the ways of their new home in America.
When World War II broke out Gloria Mount’s father became a baker and cook for the US Army. After which the family moved to Whittier, California, where in 1961 they opened D’Eliso’s Bakery. The second family settled in Spokane, Washington. Throughout the years the families have remained close and now the fourth generation Italian families have pulled together for the sake of their soldier son.
As a single father of a precious four year old son, being away during the holidays is especially difficult. What Frank (as I shall call him to protect his entire platoon from begging him for a bite) received was a special, delicately wrapped, package of true Italian biscotti. If you have never enjoyed this earthly delight you have never tasted true biscotti. Frank states that, “it isn’t the hard cookie that American’s know, but rather a firm, yet soft, flavorful cookie.”
While the original flavor is pine nuts and anise, together, Mama Gloria and her daughter Liz, have discovered a way to incorporate some additional Italian flavors in her mix. When I contacted them to find out what they had up their sleeve Gloria informed me that since Frank especially enjoyed his old country treat, she has created two new flavors that she will be packaging in a very unique way for Valentine’s Day delivery.
This new offering comes in two flavors; the Grand Marnier dipped in rich, Italian chocolate, and their Spumoni flavored biscotti drizzled with the same. For those that wish to add a little spice to the mix, yet another twist to an old favorite has been created. Florentine cookies have been given a whole new zing with the addition of chocolate chips, espresso beans and cayenne pepper to the standard slivered almonds. This alternative Valentine special has been aptly named “Hot Mommas” and is sure to spice up your loved ones life.
What sets My Little Taste of Italy apart is not just the true old world recipes but the added touch created by their special presentation. Their Valentine package, I am told, will be packed in with an assortment of fun items like wedding favor bubbles and wax lips. “I am sure this gift pack will spark the fire in your loved one this Valentine’s Day,” states Gloria.
She further informs me that now that she has tested the waters with overseas shipping she will be creating other special, soldier friendly, delicacies to delight our fighting forces both at home and abroad. I am certain that Frank and his soldier buddies will all appreciate hearing that fact. Not only is My Little Taste of Italy creating such unique gifts for our fighting forces, but they ease the burden on the family at home by including the shipping in the cost so that the family doesn’t have to foot that additional expense when shipping to their family members serving abroad.
Copyright 2007 Ginger Marks