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Actually, it was Caroma

Syracuse Cultural Workers story leads us to remember the three sisters and their secret sauce

Several weeks ago we printed a story entitled "A clean, well-lighted place: Syracuse Cultural Workers still here after 27 years." The print edition carried what we call a "teaser" -- an introduction and some photos -- ending with encouragement to go to Eagles Newspapers' Web site, cnylink.com, and click A&E, where a longer interview with some of Syracuse Cultural Workers' founders and staff awaited.

SCW locates its storefront shop, Tools for Change, and its international mail-order business and production offices on Lodi Street just south of James, on the edge of the historic Hawley-Green neighborhood on Syracuse's near northside. The building used to house a family restaurant whose name I misspelled in the article. Barbara Fioramonte Locke, who used to be director of NEHDA (Northeast Hawley Development Association), wrote to tell me so.

She added, "At the risk of sounding like I am scolding you, it is more than spelling. The restaurant was a piece of neighborhood history. The name was a combination of the first names of the three sisters who owned and operated it."

We couldn't agree more -- especially when this occurred in the context of an article about an outfit that has long made "people's history" the center of their work. This seemed like one of those cases that deserves more than a standard little box correction.

Queried about Caroma during the busy last days before Christmas, Onondaga Historical Association's executive director Gregg Tripoli found some answers within a couple hours.

"Caroma's was opened on Dec. 7, 1941 and closed on its 40th anniversary Dec. 7, 1981," he wrote back by e-mail. "It was owned and operated by the three sisters, CArmel, ROse, and MAry, in a building that was owned by their father (they grew up across the street). The restaurant was a neighborhood favorite and a landmark Italian restaurant in Syracuse. The sisters learned to cook from their mother, Rosina (who was the inspiration for the restaurant) in the Neapolitan style. Everything was made from scratch, including the pasta and the sausage. Each sister had their own specialty: Rose made the sauce and lasagna, Mary did all the specialty cooking (veal Marsala, chicken cacciatore, and steaks) and Carmel did all the baking."

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