Another example that shows that the Italian immigrants where primarily bakers:
"Three Santarpio brothers came from Naples and began with a bread bakery. "http://www.boston.com/ae/food/articles/2006/12/06/putting_toppings_at_bottom_adds_to_flavor_of_santarpios/
Putting toppings at bottom adds to flavor of Santarpio's
By Jonathan Levitt, Globe Correspondent | December 6, 2006
Santarpio's customers settle into the blue vinyl booths and feast on barbecue and pizza -- thin and crisp and served on battered metal trays -- every day, from noon to midnight. You can hear hoarse laughter from the regulars at the bar, some couples hum to Jimmy Roselli records on the jukebox, and neighborhood cops come in through the back door to pick up a few pies to go. The lights are dim, the ceilings low, and the walls covered with autographed photographs and classic fight posters.
The East Boston pizza house opened for business in 1903. Three Santarpio brothers came from Naples and began with a bread bakery. "They cooked for princes in Italy and had about a dozen kids each," says Lennie Timpone, 61, whose mother was a Santarpio, and who has worked here all his life.
These days fourth - generation sisters Carla Santarpio, 40, and Joia Santarpio, 33, and their 41-year old brother, Frank, run the place. Their dad, Frank Santarpio, and their older brother, Joseph Santarpio, retired two years ago and the younger siblings took over. "Joia is my godchild," says Timpone. "Now she's my boss."
The menu is simple: pizza, bread, and barbecue. Most days the sisters work the pizza oven, wait tables, and take phone orders. Frank goes back and forth between the bar and the oven, and Timpone bartends and sees to the back room butcher shop. He brews big pots of Maxwell House, rests his wristwatch and glasses on the meat grinder, switches on his little radio ("This time of year it's just Christmas songs," he says), and then spends hours breaking down pork butts and lamb forequarters for the barbecue skewers.
Every morning for 30 years, baker Glenn Carlton has baked the bread and mixed the pizza dough. The sisters come in around 9 and take over. "The dough is easy, it's just flour, water, yeast, and salt," says Carla. On a typical day they make up to 300 pies. For every pizza they pull a floppy ball of dough out of the proofer, press it down flat on the counter and stretch it hand over hand over hand until it's thin and round.
"Throwing the dough up in the air would just be all for show," says Carla.
They lay the discs of stretched dough, two at a time, on a wooden peel dusted with coarse cornmeal. They sprinkle on the toppings first, then the cheese (3 types of mozzarella mixed together) and finally the sauce.
"Most places do the exact opposite, but we think the toppings cook better on the bottom," says Carla. The sauce is just crushed tomatoes -- "They're the good ones, the same tomatoes that we put in the gravy at our Sunday night dinners at home," says Carla -- and dried herbs reduced together for a few hours over a low flame. Timpone says that people are always asking him for the sauce's secret ingredient. "When I tell them how simple it is , they think I'm lying," he says.
To finish, the pies get a drizzle of olive oil from an old Smirnoff Vodka bottle, then about 10 minutes in the 550-degree oven. Santarpio's had a brick pizza oven but got rid of it about 50 years ago. They're now on their second gas- powered Reed revolving tray oven from Kansas City. It has five shelves and can hold 40 pizzas at a time. "It's as hot as we need it to be, and I cook pizza just the way I like them -- nice and crunchy," says Joia.
During the day, the women take turns working the pizza station, then hand it over to various long time bakers. Whenever he has a chance, Timpone likes to get in front of the oven. "You never forget how to do it," he says. "I've been doing this since I was a little boy."
The neighborhood has changed a lot over the past few decades. "I remember when the whole area here used to be all coldwater flats and all the old ladies would get big blocks of ice delivered in sawdust," says Timpone. "Now the neighborhood people are gone, those days are gone. We're still crazy busy on the weekends and holidays but during the week it's quieter than it was in the old days."
Joia studied fashion design at Mount Ida College and Carla has a business degree from Suffolk University. Neither sister intended to work at Santarpio's full time. "My father never wanted this for us," says Joia. "It started as a summer job and something to do on the weekends, but that was 15 years ago. I'd be a fool to leave though. I make my own hours and I see my family every day. We're all like family here. If someone has a baby it's a big deal. If some one gets sick it's a big deal. I know most people don't have that at work. This place feels like home to us. It's what we know."
Santarpio's, 113 Chelsea St., East Boston, 617-567-9871,