It is not uncommon to associate a particular food with a memory, place, or person. For Anthony LoFrisco, this food is a 1,000-pound provolone.
During World War II, when LoFrisco lived in Brooklyn, Italian products were banned and therefore LoFrisco had not tasted good provolone for some time, according to Wilton Bulletin. LoFrisco recalls, “One day right after the war ended, we were playing stickball in the street when a kid came running up the block, screaming, ‘Hey! DePalo just got the biggest cheese in the world.’” In response, the boys run straight to the grocery store. LoFrisco says, “Then we saw it. It was in a crate — 12 feet long, three feet square; they took it out and put it on a table — a 1,000-pound provolone.”
When LoFrisco came upon the 1,000-pound provolone at Nicastro’s Italian Food Emporium in Ottawa, he contacted the owner, Joe Nicastro, and told Nicastro his story. LoFrisco says, “Joe was more excited than I was. He told me absolutely to come, that I could make the first cut; he was very enthusiastic.” LoFrisco told his son Anthony, and the two drove seven hours from Wilton, Connecticut, north to Ottawa.
Upon their arrival, LoFrisco was greeted with a host of broadcast crews and newspaper reporters. He got to taste the first piece of the cheese, which took six men to unload from the delivery truck. Though the cheese itself was delicious, LoFrisco says, “The real reward was meeting this guy Joe Nicastro and his family.”
Though the trip caught a lot of media attention for its novelty, the journey was a personal one for LoFrisco. He says, “The cheese was great, but I didn’t wait 70 years and drive seven hours to get a piece of cheese. I did it to relive a memory.”