Mar 17, 2010 3:29 PM | 0
Brooklyn was once renowned for producing beer, sugar, ships, and much more, but not many people know that it was also once famous for the manufacture of pasta. Brooklyn was pasta's gateway into America, as documented in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in 1886:
It all began with Antoine Zerega, an Italian who made pasta--or macaroni as it was known--in Lyon, France. He came to Brooklyn in 1848, setting up shop on Front Street in the area now known as Dumbo. Little did he know that from these humble beginnings a 6.4 billion dollar per year industry would emerge.
So successfull were Zerega and other pasta makers that at the turn of the 20th century they formed the American Manufacturers of Macaroni Association. In 1935 the Brooklyn Daily Eagle touted the emergence of Brooklyn as a power house of pasta during the Association's annual convention held here.
Zerega's business left Brooklyn in 1950, but the company continues to manufacture pasta today in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. The original building that housed the company stood on Front Street until 2006 when it was demolished, and a piece of culinary history was lost.
One of the more prominent companies to produce macaroni in Brookyn was V. La Rosa and Sons, Inc. They were founded in 1914 by Sicilian native Vincenzo La Rosa.
In 1949 they published this beauty of a brochure, a full-color homage to everything pasta, including recipes and descriptions of the various pasta types.
So the next time you fill the pasta pot, remember Zerega! Buon Appetito!