I went to the funeral of an ex- girl-friend’s father last weekend – but that is not the reason for this essay.
While chatting with the family members afterwards, a lady stepped up and introduced herself. She is very well known as being a key member of what I call a tap-root family for our (now) mid-size town. Turns out that she is close friends with my high school ex-girl friend. She is a “Pedroni” and her family is famous for a huge part of the food industry in Petaluma. Many books could be written. . .
I want to call out why meeting her gave me such joy. While I was in the womb, my mom worked a couple of doors away from a deli named, Pedroni’s, and developed a pregnancy-compulsions for “Pedroni’s Potato Salad”, which became extremely popular – legendary still today. Mom kept working until I made it impossible, and joked how I had to be addicted because I was literally gestated in the stuff. It became a staple for our family and meals were always better with a big bowl of it in the center of the table.
The recipe is still a secret and Ms. Pedroni’ assured me that that the original remains back at her home in “The Safe”. Meeting her was like meeting the Nobel Laurette of Potato Salad.
The salad remains available today at a deli owned by relatives of the original family – despite costing way too much for anyone who is not as addicted.
If you ever make it through Petaluma, California, you need to stop by Lombardi’s Deli out on the north end of town and pick up a bowl. Yes, it’s expensive – but so worth it and carries with it at least a 7-decade history of potato salad groupies.
It was a huge pleasure to meet this woman, shake her hand and thank her for an addiction that stretches about 9 months longer than my legal age.