Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, we were dreaming about Angelo’s focaccia bread. I am not sure if focaccia bread has any ties to the Holliday season but if you ever get the chance to sample this magical treat you will understand its festive power. Angelo Ibieto is a butcher by trade. He is a good friend. He is a man with a gift of making people happy. We have always enjoyed visiting with Angelo on our meat excursions. In the last several years we have discovered a baking talent Angelo possesses. In particular, is his focaccia bread making skills. This focaccia has an olive oil rich crust with a slight chew. The interior is soft and fluffy. There is a hint of garlic. The top is lightly dusted with salt to make you crave and anticipate the next bite. This is the best focaccia ever.
We were on a ‘Meat Adventure’ to pick up a Holiday ham. ‘Angelo’s Meats’ smokes a wonderful ham that we enjoy. The Racing Honda flew faster than Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve to arrive at our destination. Rudolph has nothing on Ms. Goofy’s red toed foot. We arrived and tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash. St. Angelo was no where to be found. Kristi, in her Christmas ‘Forty Whiner Niner” costume, told us to go back in the kitchen to find Angelo. To our pleasant surprise Angelo was in the kitchen baking his infamous focaccia bread.
Have you ever smelled bread baking? This was the aroma we inhaled when we stepped into Angelo’s magic kitchen workshop. Angelo greeted us with enthusiastic joy. We then witnessed the magi at work. Angelo will not reveal all of his secrets. He did tell us to use the best olive oil and do not be stingy. He also hinted that he lets his focaccia rise twice to achieve the pillow like soft texture. He danced with ninja like skill maneuvering the five sheet pans in the commercial convection oven. He rotated and sorted the pans to achieve perfect browning of the bread. What a treat to the senses when he pulled the bread from the oven. We experienced a focaccia facial steam bath in Angelo’s small kitchen.
It is hard to leave and say goodbye to Angelo. We left with a ham and still hot focaccia bread. Once again Angelo has made us happy. It is always a great Meat Adventure to Angelo’s Meats. You too can experience this wonderful focaccia. You will have to call first because this is a very special item. Be sure to tell Angelo that the Mad Meat Genius sent you.
“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night”