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  • Susan Welsh

Cookies for breakfast!

In the pantheon of manufactured cookies, many have uniquely interesting histories. As a long-time fan of the Margherite, those ridged columns of bisque and cocoa columns made by Stella D' Oro, I was interested in learning more about the company whose past is filled with mergers and acquisitions, and one not-so-kosher moment.

Established in 1930 by Joseph Kresivich from Trieste and his wife Angela, Stella D' Oro is Italian for "star of gold". The original factory, located on West 237th and Broadway in the Bronx once filled the air with smells of vanilla and almond, before the string of buyouts, the infamous union strike, and eventually becoming one of the brands of Snyder's Lance, a snack company known for its iconic bright orange and peanut-butter filled Toast-Chee Sandwich Cracker.

In 2003, Kraft owned Stella D'Oro, popular with the Orthodox Jewish community for being "pareve" ( a Hebrew term meaning containing no meat or dairy and acceptable under Jewish dietary laws. In an effort to cut costs cheaper ingredients were used, and the cookies were no longer designated "pareve". This led to an acute backlash from the Orthodox Jewish community who stopped buying the products and sales falling dramatically. Eventually Kraft responded to feedback, returned to the original ingredients, and reinstated their kosher certification.

When I finally did an ancestry search, I was thrilled to learn I was 27% Italian. Somehow this confirmation of my heritage validated my love of cookies for breakfast. If you don't believe me, then just read this post from Chiara Piotto of HuffPost Italy. Apparently, it's not about whether or not to eat cookies for breakfast, it's about making a decision on which cookie to choose?


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