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St. Patrick’s Day at Di Camillo Bakery

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St. Patrick’s Day at Di Camillo Bakery

 

  An Italian-American bakery might seem like a strange place for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to begin, but our family bakery was blessed with two “Gaelic-Garlic” infusions. First, for over a century we have been based in Niagara Falls, a city that was officially incorporated on St. Patrick’s Day, so our hometown is especially dedicated to St. Patrick in particular, and his feast day in general.
Frank Di Camillo, Nardine Capizzi, "Scotty" McDonald, Nick Di Camillo, Jibby D"Aversa  
Second, and for our purposes, much more importantly, from the mid-1950s until the 1980s we employed a Scottish baker -- named, appropriately enough, Scotty-- who brought with him many recipes for Irish items which we still bake and sell today—especially on St. Patrick’s Day. Scotty left home at thirteen to join the merchant marine, where he learned to cook on board the ship’s galley. Our master baker, Thomas Di Camillo remembers that, “Every summer, he’d take off work from our bakery to be the cook for the Northern Lights Boy Scout camp in Northern Ontario.” Scotty always wore a plaid tam o’ shanter.
Irish Sweet Bread: a yeast-raised, round loaf, replete with raisins and “sanding” (also known as “coarse” sugar”) on top. Best when served toasted.
Irish Soda Bread: a smaller, dense, soda-and-baking powder-raised loaf. An excellent compliment when served with butter and jam—and tea!
Tea Biscuits: traditionally served with, to no one’s surprise, tea, but also used to make shortcakes of all varieties (e.g.: strawberry, peach). However, this multipurpose biscuit also makes an excellent vehicle for Chicken a la King or biscuit-and-gravy combination.
Scones: similar in shape and size to our tea biscuits, however they are studded with raisins, and are glazed on top. This traditional Celtic staple is often toasted and served with marmalade.
Eccles: a puff-pastry made of raisin, sugar, and cinnamon. This breakfast cake, round and palm-sized is an authentic Irish tea-time staple.
In addition the breads and cakes Scotty brought with him, for St. Patrick’s Day, Di Camillo Bakery is proud to present:
Green Homestyle Bread: our traditional Homestyle bread, colored green, and topped with rolled oats. This item is available for shipping.
In honor of the tradition of St. Patrick driving all of the snakes out of Ireland, we bake a small snake bread—crusty, delicious and frightening!
Shamrock Shortbread: Hand-cut, shamrock shaped, all butter shortbread cookies are floated and decorated in pure French dark chocolate.  Cookie and candy make a perfect union in these eight cookie emblems of the Irish. Presented in a clear, ribbon tied, box.
Shamrock sugar cookies: available in two-packs, these good-luck charms come topped with green sugar or with white frosting.
All of the above can-- and should—be served with any of our delicious teas: Earl Grey, Jasmine, Peppermint, and even English Breakfast!

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  • Kevin DiCamillo
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