Watertown's Beloved Spaziani Bread Comes HomePosted: Updated:
If you're from the Watertown area, you may recognize Spaziani bread wrappers.
But you're probably asking yourself how can that be? Spaziani Bakery closed years ago.
It turns out the family's traditional Italian bread recipe survived.
Tony Spaziani, grandson of the bakery's original owner, Guy Spaziani, has been making it and serving it at his restaurant, Giovanni's Pizzeria e Ristorante Italiano in Fairbanks, Ohio since 1995.
"I talked to my Aunt Josephine Marcinko and she gave me the recipe," said Tony. "I had one of the last of the old bread wrappers that was used for years and years and I was able to get it duplicated. I was able to use the same bread wrapper from when I grew up in the 50s."
When Alteri's Bakery in Watertown closed last month, Sharon Spaziani Jackson, owner of Best Friends Doggie Day Spa, wondered what she would do for good Italian bread.
Spaziani Jackson is a cousin of Tony's and decided to get in touch with his daughter and ask if they would be willing to ship some of the original bread to Watertown. She posted on Facebook asking if anyone from the area would like to put in an order.
"My Facebook page blew up with people going, 'Oh my God, yeah, I want a loaf, I want 2 loaves, I want 4 loaves, let me know I can't wait,' and even people from Watertown who are living in other states now were like, 'Oh, can they ship to Arkansas, can they ship to California, can they ship to Florida,'" said Spaziani Jackson.
She ordered 6 dozen, or 72 loaves of the bread. One of the people who put in for 12 of those loaves for herself and friends was Judy Fiorentino. She says the bread tasted just like she remembered.
"When you toast it, it has a nice little crunch to it and soft in the middle. It just has that taste from years ago, just bringing back warm memories to me. You had that bread and then when Hank closed up shop, you know that was the end of an era," said Fiorentino.
Spaziani Jackson says she wasn't too surprised by the response she got. She plans to order a shipment of the bread again.
"Anytime anybody talks about Spaziani or talks about Italian bread or pizza in the area, they always mention Spaziani. Everybody always misses it and talks about it," she said.
"It makes me smile," said Tony. "I'm very proud some people still remember the name and the product."
The old Spaziani Bakery at Cedar and Swan streets was also famous for its pizza. While Tony makes pizza at his Ohio restaurant, the recipe came with the business. It's not the Spaziani recipe people here knew and loved.