Pueblo County, Colorado
Contributed by Jean, Gracie, Phyllis and Karen.
Colorado Springs Gazette 8-19-2005 - Gagliano's Like Slice of Little Italy - Market Has Served Locals For More Than 80 Years - The smell of garlic begins its seduction as soon as you open the door. It's one of the many signs that Gagliano's Italian Market is the real deal – not some artificially contrived chain recreation of an Italian grocery, but an authentic, fourth-generation institution. It's been operated by the Gagliano family from Sicily since 1923. During a typical Friday afternoon, Vincent Gagliano works behind a deli case filled with meats and cheeses. A customer asks him about the Supremo Bread, stuffed with ham, salami, pepperoni and cheese. Many of the breads are ordered in advance, but he says the one in his hand is for sale. "Not anymore!" says Randy Schade, who's ahead of that customer in line. Vincent smiles and sends the loaf home with Schade, a longtime customer, with recommendations for a nice red wine to wash it down. Meanwhile, Grandma Josephine thrills customers with a steady stream of free samples – marinated olives, prosciutto from Italy, lady fingers warm from the oven. Her 11-year-old granddaughter Bittanie works the register, which, at 98 years old, happens to be even older than the shop. It's like a tiny slice of New York's Little Italy before it turned into a tourist attraction. Sure, there are a few tourist gifts here – including T-shirts that say "I'm not only perfect, I'm Italian, too." But those aren't the main draw. "Gags," as the regulars call it, is all about the homemade breads, imported meats, sandwiches to go and, perhaps most of all, the mild and spicy homemade Italian sausages. Grill them up with onions and peppers and you'll never eat fair food again. Shop 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays at 1220 Elm St.
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