“Sauce Snob”

The "Sauce Snob"

I had two wonderful days showcasing my sauce in the Adams Fairacre Farms in
both Newburgh and Kingston this weekend.  Talking to people while they experience 825 MAIN Marinara is so much fun!  I love hearing people’s stories! My favorite story was from an Italian woman who was born in the Campania region of Italy.  She exclaimed that although she makes her own sauce she likes to try bottled sauces to see if her sauce has any competition.  So as I gladly handed her a sample, she shared with me how she brings her family to her hometown in Italy every summer. Her passion for food was evident as her face lit up with excitement as she recalled all the regional foods she introduces her family to. She even went so far as to explain that her home space is taken up with a huge kitchen.  I watched her face carefully as she put the spoon to her lips, eagerly waiting for her nod of approval.  In the typical way that an Italian would nod with that little shrug meaning “it’s good but not as good as mine”, the mom
tried to delicately give me her critique. I didn’t take any offense explaining that 825 MAIN Marinara is supposed to be a marinara sauce that one uses when they don’t want to sacrifice taste for time. But the funniest thing about this cute woman was that it wasn’t enough to give me just her opinion, she quickly called her kids over to try the sauce.  She needed her kids to rate my sauce against her sauce.  So as her children (all young adults)  tried my sauce their faces lit up and said “Mom! This sauce is really good!”  The woman got a little sheepish but was a good sport about it. I couldn’t help but react with the biggest smile on my face but quickly toned it
down as she glanced over at me.  It turns out that the family was in Adams shopping for dinner.  They have a summer home in Woodstock and all six kids were visiting and mom needed to make dinner.   To make me feel better the mom picked up a jar.   But what was even funnier was that the kids came back behind her and picked up another jar.  As they left my sampling table they all cheered me on. Later the mom came back and apologized. She said her kids called her a “sauce snob”.  I told her I was not offended at all! We quickly bonded over our love for food and a quest to serve our family only the best. The only difference between her and me is that my mission is to share my delicious sauce with all of you. As I think back over this weekend’s stories I am empowered by my accomplishment!  I convinced a “sauce snob” to buy not one jar but 2 jars of 825 MAIN Marinara.  Now that’s what I call a great weekend!

Pastiera di Pasqua (Wheat Pie)

Pastiera di Pasqua ( Wheat Pie) is my family’s favorite of  Italian Easter treats, which is especially popular in the Naples area. Actually Naples is where Pastiera originated. It is safe to say, that as much as Strufoli are associated with Christmas, then undoubtedly the Pastiera {passt-ear-AR} belongs to Easter, and especially to Good Friday.
Essentially this is a type of custard cheesecake, consisting of ricotta cheese combined with a custard mix, and with cooked wheat, and flavored citrus zest running through it. When this mixture is eaten in combination with the shortcrust pastry it is absolutely delicious!
In addition if you can’t find candid orange zest, you could make your own by boiling orange peel in sugar water, for around 10 minutes, draining and then leaving the peel in sugar for a few days. After shaking off the excess sugar, you can store them in sealed jars.
Cooked wheat can be found in cans by Mariapina Cooked Wheat- Grano Cotto  but for those of you that live in the  Poughkeepsie, NY  area Caffe Aurora,  an Italian bakery always has cooked wheat available during the Easter season.  They cook it in Mille Fiore (rose water) which is the flavor that makes the Pastiera authentically delicious!

Here is a link that gives you some background history of the Pastiera                        http://almostitalian.com/pastiera-di-grano/

Pastiera di Pasqua
(Easter Pie, Easter Tart, Wheat Pie )

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups of  cooked wheat
2 cups hot milk
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp grated lemon peel
1 tbs sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 ¼ pound of ricotta
2 cups of sugar
6 egg yolks
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp grated lemon peel
½ candied citron and orange peel diced fine
4 egg whites, beaten stiff
1 recipe of pasta frolla for the crust* see below for recipe
2 tbs confectioners’ sugar
Procedure:

In a medium sauce pan place first six ingredients and simmer until milk has completely evaporated.  Remove from fire and cool.

Place ricotta in bowl and stir until very smooth.  Add sugar and egg yolks, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.  Add cinnamon, candied citron and candied orange peel, the rest of the lemon peel and last of all the cooked wheat.  Mix together well and blend in egg whites which have been beaten until stiff but not dry.

Divide Pasta Frolla into 2 parts, one larger than the other and roll the larger piece to a thickness of ½ inch.  Butter and flour a 10 inch cheese cake spring pan and line the bottom and sides with rolled out piece of pastry, trimming edges.  Pour in ricotta filling.  Roll out smaller piece of pasta frolla and
cut into 1 inch strips. Place strips criss-cross over cheese filling, trimming neatly around the edges.  Bake cake in moderate oven (375 degree F) 45 – 60 minutes. Let cool in pan.  When cool, push
up bottom of spring pan, transfer tart to serving dish and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

 

I adjusted this recipe to my family’s liking where I use half the sugar and no citron.  It comes out very sweet with the pasta frolla so I only use half the sugar and it comes out very good.  This recipe is the most like the way my grandmother used to make.  She had 7 children and would make a pastiera for each of her children’s family.  I would often go to her house before Easter to help her put the pies together.  She used pie plates and not the spring form pans. You can use  this  same recipe and adjust the baking time to  35-45 minutes for pie plates. You also need to double the pasta frolla.  This recipe
makes 2 pies.

 

* Pasta Frolla

Ingredients:
2 cups sifted pastry flour
1 cup of sugar
Small pinch of salt
½ cup butter at room temperature
2 eggs
½ tsp grated lemon rind

Procedure:

Sift together flour, sugar and salt.  Make a well of dry ingredients on pastry board.
Place butter, eggs and lemon rind in well and work dough with hands quickly.  Do not add water.  When smooth, shape into ball and chill 30 minutes.

50 Years in Business

2011 will be 50 years that we have been in business. It is confusing with all the different Coppola’s in the area. We happen to be the original one. The success of the original restaurant allowed the family to expand.

Originally we were located on 273 Main Street and then moved to the current location. It wasn’t by choice. The city of Poughkeepsie as part of their urban renewal knocked down several buildings. Ours was one of them. So we were forced to look elsewhere to continue our business.

So in 1979 the city of Poughkeepsie forced us out of our building and we  moved to upper Main Street in the town of Poughkeepsie taking with us alot of history. We have had the same phone number for 50 years. We are still operating under the same corporation started in 1961.

Throughout the years we have modernized our facility and  gotten many facelifts. But for nostalgia sake we have kept some artifacts for reminders of the roots of our success. Keeping some of the original plates and some of the original pots is a daily reminder.

We have an antique scale that we used to weigh all our meats on.  We have the original industrial size mixer. It still works. Amazing that things made 50 years ago are of such good quality. We even brought our steam table with us and built the kitchen around it!   Some of the original chairs do come out from time to time. If you look on our brick walls we have gold statues that we brought along with us. Those from from the Rialto Theater that we started in 50 years ago.

Throughout our many years in business we have weathered the ups and downs of the economy. Right now we are experiencing another valley. But because of the lessons taught by my father as he started a business from scratch (which was built on hard work and perseverance) we will climb up this valley too. I will be writing on this blog different memories from our experiences in the business. So stay tuned. Not  focusing  primarily on our family history but I will write about some of the interesting people we have met along the way.

About Me

Founder and owner of 825 Main Products, Teresa Coppola-Morgan

I have raised a family, ran a restaurant with my husband…and 50 years went by. Life happened and our goals changed so we retired from the restaurant business. But I haven’t stopped being who I grew to be – a food connoisseur. I have this need to share my upbringing… MORE.

Westfair Online, July 15, 2011

“After 50 years at a pair of locations in Poughkeepsie – the defunct Rialto Theater originally and more-familiarly at 825 Main Street – Coppola’s Trattoria and Bar will close to diners July 30. The owners are moving to grocery shelves with a new business plan featuring recipes that have been popular Coppola’s mainstays for decades.”
Link to the article.

Thank you for your order

Thank you for your order. Your delicious 825 MAIN Marinara Sauce will be on its way to you soon. We usually ship within one business day. If you ordered a case, transit time is usually 3-5 business days. For a two- or three-pack, transit time is usually 2-3 business days.

Please contact us if you have any questions: [my-email]

Coppola’s Muses

The 1920 Rialto Theatre  statues that have adorned the walls of  the Original Coppola’s Restaurant for over 50 years have been donated back to the theatre from whence they started.

My family’s journey started in 1961 when my father and his two brothers, along with my mother and her two sisters, having just arrived from the Naples region of Italy, opened the first Coppola’s Restaurant in the old abandoned Rialto Theatre on Main Street in Poughkeepsie, NY. Immediately becoming a success, drawing in a menagerie of people from town folk to celebrities, Coppola’s became the talk of the town.

The family eventually branched out to open other restaurants but Joe and Maria Coppola, my parents, stayed in Poughkeepsie. In 1979 Poughkeepsie Urban Renewal condemned the historic building at 273 Main Street forcing my parents to move to 825 Main Street. My parents enjoying their success in Arlington gave back to the community with annual Christmas parties for various children’s homes. Fifty years in business Coppola’s Restaurant received many awards for its fine Italian cuisine.

Jim and I are proud that we were able to hang on to that aura of family and thankfulness that my dad passed on to us when he died in 1994. Not only were we able to provide our customers with the same great food experiences that 6 Italian immigrants started 50 years ago but we also provided our customers with a canvas for memories! In turn our customers gave us a greater understanding and lasting memories of our heritage!

And now that we have closed our restaurant doors we are so grateful that our customers have opened their doors to their homes to introduce our 825 MAIN Marinara Sauce on the family dinner table.

“Mangia! You Have to Take Care of the Baby!

Hey all! This is going to be a short post today. But I just wanted to tell you about this woman that came into the restaurant last night and shared her story with my husband. It brought a tear to my eye as Jim recanted the story. It never ceases to amaze me how generous my father was. My father has been gone now for seventeen years and we still get stories from our customers! Anyway, this lady came in for an order to go with her daughter. She has been a loyal customer since our days on lower Main Street. Apparently when she was pregnant with her daughter she developed an insatiable craving for veal.

As I understood it she was working in Poughkeepsie and living in Amenia/Dover area. Well, she would come in for her daily meal of veal. As she came in on a regular basis my dad and her got to be quite friendly. Progressing with her pregnancy becoming more and more obvious my dad would make a point to make her get off her feet. She said she would sit on a stool in the kitchen. ad would say to her “Mangia, you have to take care of the baby!”

At this point in the story the woman doubled over in laughter and joy as she remembered the story! (From what I can gather from this story is that she must have been going there to get orders to go. As she waited for her order my dad made her sit and would give her something to eat for the long ride back home.) As she recollected herself she continued with her story…

As she neared the end of her pregnancy and would waddle into the restaurant she didn’t have to pay for her meals anymore. Finally when the day came that she delivered the baby she made sure that my dad knew that she had the baby. Of course my dad did what he knew best on such an occasion in true Coppola style! A huge Italian meal (with veal of course) was delivered to the hospital!