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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

Arthur Brocato


Angelo Brocato Ice Cream & Confectionery

In a certain sense, Angelo Brocato Ice Cream & Confectionery has come a long way since its founder immigrated from Cefalù, Sicily, and opened the store in 1905. For instance, the business relocated from the French Quarter (an Italian neighborhood at the turn of the last century) to Mid-City in the 1980s. Also, Angelo’s descendents have significantly expanded his original menu of gelato in the summer and cannoli in the winter. On top of that, the shop underwent two renovations in just two years: first for its hundredth anniversary celebration, and then again after taking on four feet of Katrina’s floodwaters.

The Sicilian ice cream parlor nevertheless is steeped in Old-World charm, from the vintage neon sign out front, to the glass-top café tables and the shiny copper espresso machine within. Patrons feel as though they’re partaking in history with each scoop of stracciatella gelato, each slice of torroncino, each biscotti di regina paved with sesame seeds. Indeed they are. The third-generation proprietor, Arthur Brocato, who currently runs the shop with his wife, Jolie, and the help of multiple family members, is vigilant about using Sicilian recipes. Many of them were passed down from Angelo himself.

Date of interview:
2007-02-17 00:00

Interviewer:
Sara Roahen

Photographer:
Sara Roahen

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