San Francisco has always been known food. From fine dining, to a variety of ethnic cuisines, to farm-to-table fresh ingredients, natives and visitors have lots of choices. In 1912, the Golden Grain Macaroni Company was housed in the Mission. They sold boxes of pasta to Italian grocery stores and restaurants in the area.
In 1962, we started hearing a little jingle about “the San Francisco Treat.” Here it is:
The “betcha didn’t know” story is that Rice-A-Roni was not an Italian recipe. It is based on Armenian-style rice pilaf. Lois DeDomenico, daughter-in-law of the founder of the Golden Grain Company, had an Armenian landlady. Lois got the recipe from her and the DeDomenico family loved it.
Vince, Lois’ husband, took dry chicken soup mix (made at his plant) and added rice and vermicelli to create the dish he named Rice-A-Roni. We have the McCann-Erickson advertising agency to thank for the jingle.
The DeDomenicos also owned another San Francisco treat. This one was created by a Italian:
The DeDomenicos sold both the pasta company and the chocolate company. But my friend Claudia DeDomenico, daughter of Vince and Lois, just started selling Boncora Biscotti. Remember that name.