Gleaming, Or How A Kitchen Should Look

Look at the size of the wisks! Behind the scenes at Termini Bakery | Photo: Nathaniel Popkin

They’re pleased to give behind-the-scenes tours at Termini Brothers Bakery on South Eighth Street in South Philly. They use founder Joseph’s original butcher block–which he bought used in the 1930s–original mixers, original wrought iron cake turnstiles…in part at least because they are crazy for clean. They’re also crazy for the original recipes, which Joseph, who died at 95 in 1994, brought from Enna, in the center of Sicily.

All the Termini pastries–for the flagship and their stores on Packer Avenue, in the Reading Terminal and the Comcast Center–are made here. The place is as it’s been since the 1930s when the Termini Brothers moved from their original location across the street (now a cafe): hand made cabinets, pressed tin, and tile floor. It’s about as close and you can come to the Old World.

Termini has been recognized this year by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia for the restoration of the bakery’s stainless steel facade.


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About the author

Hidden City co-editor Nathaniel Popkin’s latest book is the novel Lion and Leopard (The Head and The Hand Press). He is also the author of Song of the City (Four Walls Eight Windows/Basic Books) and The Possible City (Camino Books). He is senior writer and script editor of the Emmy-winning documentary series “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment” and the fiction review editor of Cleaver Magazine. Popkin's literary criticism appears in the Wall Street Journal, Public Books, The Kenyon Review, and The Millions. He is writer-in-residence of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.



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