December 24, 2008
I think we can say Fante’s invented the specialty gourmet kitchen supply house. The Fante’s have been in business in the Italian Market for over 100 years, and in the Post War era started to specialize in every imaginable utensil, tool, cake pan (and there are LOTS of different cake pans!), bakers gew gaws and jim cracks… you name it. Whatever a dynamic kitchen could wish for. It did wildly well during the era when mail order catalogs ruled, and has always been a required shopping stop for every famous cook on tour promoting their latest book.
Fante’s is that incredible anchor that you shop through The Market to get to, then shop your way back out after stocking up on cool crazy kitchen gadgets.
Do your friends swoon over your omelets? Then buy them an omelet pan for Christmas and they can damn well invite YOU over for breakfast! Choose a giant, colorful pasta platter from not two or three, but from dozens of handsome possibilities. How many shelves of cake, pudding and pate molds can one store have?
The idea of doing any sort of holiday shopping can sometimes put me in an uncharacteristically black cloud funk. A visit to Fante’s, and you suddenly remember how much you love everyone, and how much fun buying things for those you love can be. A step through their door and I was grinning. By the time I got to the back of the place I was roaring with laughter. I bought the coolest apron I’ve ever seen for my wife… it looks like a crazy 50s dress. I bought an awesome cheese grater for my kids that looks like a chef and leaves the shavings on a plate that are the chef’s feet. No more supermarket ‘shake cheese’ in our house… ever again!
1006 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147-4707