Having lived in New York growing up and being raised with a strong Italian heritage one can only dream of the food he enjoyed while living there during the first 24 years of his life. If you have ever been around someone who is from NY it will not be long until you will here a comment about food-that is, how much they miss the food from home. Whether its the pizza or the bagels there is an undeniable desire to be able to enjoy this experience anywhere they go. Unfortunately for many x-North Easterners trying to replicate these foods never seems to cut it. Bagels at Panera Bread cannot replace the corner bagel store you grew up with in Brooklyn.
We have often wondered why it seems so many of the good restaurants, bakeries and deli's ended up in the north east. But you actually do not have to look to far to understand why that is. In fact, all you have to do is take a look at the 3.5 million dreaming immigrants that came to New York in the early 1900's. Many of these bold-risk takers were themselves missing food from their home countries and were not willing to leave it behind. Need gave birth to ideas, from poor push cart vendors to high society restaurant owners, men started food businesses with great pride as they represented their homeland.
One such company Polly-O, an American Italian cheese manufacturing company was started by Giuseppe Pollio in Brooklyn in 1899 and was eventually bought by Kraft Foods in 1986. Today Polly-O cheese is sold in many US grocery chain stores and is well known for its ricotta & mozzarella as well as being one of the best store bought mozzarella cheeses.
The trajectory of these immigrant entrepreneurs can be seen from New York to Florida to Seattle, but we all know the place of origin somehow does it the best.
Salute to our Grandparents & great Grandparents who made that voyage.