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by Hannes Frey February 16, 2015

Last weekend, my parents came down to Philadelphia. Since I live right near the Italian Market, and we’re a family of cooks, Fante’s was a must-see on our list. As it so happened, the lovely Rose Berenbaum was having a book signing for her newest book, The Baking Bible  (October 2014, HMH).

Rose at Fante'sMy mom has been a fan of hers since her huge hit,  The Cake Bible , came out in 1989.  It took the American culinary scene by storm and won over the hearts of bakers across the country, as well as winning the James Beard Book of the Year award. Her detailed, well-constructed and meticulously researched recipes are especially appealing for novice bakers. Most importantly, they yield delectable results!

We introduced ourselves, and started talking butter. We were happy to learn that she’s a big believer in using organic sweet cream butter, and likes the Organic Valley brand (one we recommend as well). She also emphasized the importance of knowing the fat content of baking butter, as apparently just a few percentage points more or less can throw off a recipe. It turns out that she also likes using cultured butter for the depth of flavor it brings to a recipe.

After talking a bit more about Switzerland – we loved hearing how Rose made the wedding cake for Rudolf Sprüngli, the head of Switzerland’s iconic chocolate company, Lindt & Sprüngli – it was time to continue our exploration of the Italian Market. Di Bruno’s Brothers was calling, and we needed to get our cheese fix! Rose wished us the best of luck with our endeavor, and happy baking. Thanks, Rose!!

Fante's Philadelphia

Fante's in Philadelphia

Hannes Frey
Hannes Frey


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