Wednesday, February 25, 2015



For fifty years Larry Lipson was the food critic for the Los Angeles Daily News and now reports from Florida weekly with his thoughts and favorite picks for Food & Wine.  His lovely Wife Lillian is also on hand at the Lipson Institute for advanced wine studies.


Americans still recall the company's memorable slogan: Wednesday is PRINCE spaghetti day.
Anthony Martignetti was nine years old when his family emigrated from Italy to the United States in 1966. They settled in Massachusetts, in a predominantly Italian neighborhood in Boston's North End. It was there, three years later, that Anthony was hanging out with some friends when the group was approached by a pair of men who obviously didn't live in the area.
They asked for directions to Commercial Street, and Anthony politely guided the gentlemen. Those two men were representatives of Boston's Jerome O'Leary advertising agency, which represented the Prince Macaroni Company (as it was then called). They were scouting locations for a TV commercial, and two weeks later when they were casting it, they recalled the nice little boy named Anthony who'd helped them out.

They tracked him down and asked if he'd like to be in a television commercial. Anthony dashed home and excitedly told his mother that he was going to be on TV. She immediately assumed the worst "“ that he'd gotten into trouble and was going to be on the six o'clock news. A few days later (after she'd calmed down and details were hammered out), contracts were signed and Anthony eventually netted about $25,000 for his mad dash to that apartment building on Powers Court. (By the way, the woman calling for him out the window in the commercial was not his real mother, but a neighborhood resident named Mary Fiumara.)

The story of one of America's most beloved pasta brands was born in 1912 when three immigrants from the same village in Sicily, Italy, started a small spaghetti manufacturing company in Boston's North End. The address of their storefront? 92 Prince Street. It was a perfect partnership. Gaetano LaMarca was the administrator, Guiseppe Seminara was the salesman and Michele Cantella was the pasta maker. These entrepreneurs had no way of knowing that their little company would become one of the largest pasta manufacturers in the country. Eventually PRINCE outgrew its offices and moved to Lowell, Mass. In 1941, Guiseppe Pellegrino, another Sicilian immigrant, joined the company and soon bought a controlling interest. PRINCE remained in the hands of the Pellegrino family until 1987. Generations of Today, PRINCE pasta is part of the New World Pasta family of brands, the leading dry pasta manufacturer in the United States. New World Pasta brands include Ronzoni® Healthy Harvest®, Ronzoni® Smart Taste® and Ronzoni Garden Delight®.

Anthony grew up, graduated from high school and got a job working at a Polaroid factory before eventually joining his family's grocery business. When his parents retired and closed down shop in 1987, he got a job at the distribution center for Stop & Shop, an East Coast supermarket chain. Although today the company's website boasts of their commitment to "diversity," Martignetti's supervisor, by many accounts, regularly referred to him as a "spaghetti bender" and "meatball," in additional to a few far more offensive ethnic slurs. After filing complaints through corporate channels with no success, Martignetti sued his employer for discrimination. The suit was settled out of court in 2004 for an undisclosed sum. Today Anthony Martignetti works as an officer of the Dedham District Court. He is married and has a five-year-old son named Anthony Jr. Anthony Senior estimates that his family still dines on Prince spaghetti about four or five times per week.