The San Francisco Treat

It is time to plan for holiday celebrations. And the end-of-year holidays require great food. San Francisco gets the credit for being the birthplace of some unique recipes. Irish coffee, fortune cookies, and the ice cream sandwich called “It’s It” make the list. The “Crab Louie” salad recipe was published in the St. Francis Hotel’s cookbook in 1910. “Green Goddess Dressing” debuted in 1923 at the Palace Hotel. And the DeDomenico family gave us our special treat, Rice-A-Roni.

Vince DeDomenico graduated from Mission High School and took over the Gragnano Macaroni Factory with his brothers when his father died in 1933. You might recognize the company as the Golden Grain Macaroni Factory. They invented Rice-A-Roni from a family recipe and started selling it in 1958. The Rice-A-Roni jingle, proclaiming the origin of the mix as, “the San Francisco treat,” and using what sounds like a Cable Car bell, has been ringing since 1961.

In this clip, a gentleman from Chicago visited our beloved city in 2006, and took a box of Rice-A-Roni on a tour that he documented. And some visitors say we City natives are strange. You decide.

In 1964, DeDomenico bought the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, the chocolatier that had been operating in The City since 1852. The family sold both companies to the Quaker Oats Company in 1986.

Best wishes,