The VincisOn a sunny Sunday in March 1910, my grandfather, Luciano Vinci, not only met Maria Nisi for the first time, he married her. She had just arrived in America from Italy and her father was sure that my grandfather was the right man for his daughter. Maria must have agreed. Their marriage produced eleven children- 6 girls and 5 boys.

When the 4 older girls (my Aunts) started working in local factories in New Britain and Kensington Connecticut, they often brought their mother's homemade pizza for lunch. Most of their co-workers had never tasted pizza. After a while, the rich aroma of all of the spices got the best of them. They wanted to swap their boring sandwich lunches for my Aunts' pizza. Soon, the workers asked if they could buy pizza from them for lunch. Soon my Aunts began taking pizza orders and became known as "the Pizza Girls." The price was 10 cents a slice.

Frankie, the oldest son's job was to make and prepare the pizza dough. Twenty five pounds of flour were mixed at a time. It had to be kneaded and formed into dough balls and allowed to rise. This was all done by hand. The prepared dough was then given to their mother (Mamma) for the next step. Tomato sauce, fresh basil, oregano, and garlic were added, all from their own garden. Olive oil, salt and pepper from the corner market were added. The final touch was the love that put it all together. It was baked in a coal oven. The final pie was ready.

One day Luciano (Papa) called the older family members to the kitchen table and told them that this pizza business was going very well. If everyone agreed, he offered to have a building constructed in the backyard where they could expand and prepare larger quantities of pizza.

The children had to do some thinking on this matter. The girls were concerned that the pizza business would take away too much of their personal time, especially since they were at the dating age. The boys couldn't imagine who would buy pizza and have it delivered. Every Italian family knows that their mother makes all their pizza. Purchasing a prepared food? No family would ever do that for a meal. That's what Mamma is home for. So at that time, the pizza business was temporarily discontinued.

That was then. Two generations later, the same dough recipe is as good as ever. We use the same family recipe of the last century to make the tastiest fried dough and pizza products in America today.