Kathy -- a Fat City reader in Fort Wayne, Indiana -- wrote us to ask about a restaurant that she remembered from her childhood in Kansas City:
"My parents took us to Maranzino's on Wornall at least once a week in the 1950s ... wonderful memories. And my glands still water 50 years later when I recall a relish they served. We would buy a quart from the kitchen to take home. It must be a family recipe as each garadiniera I have tried is too hot, too chopped or too oily. Are any Maranzino's still in KC who might have the old family recipe?"
The relish that Kathy mentions, giardiniera, is a marinated vegetable salad that is, like the traditional American relish plate, often served before meals. I've enjoyed plates of giardiniera with bread or crackers in the homes of many Italian-American hosts; my parents used to serve it to friends who stopped by for a glass of wine.
Because most cooks put their own spin on the dish -- some prefer it spicy, others like it blander and crunchier -- each version can be different. But if anyone has a copy of the old Mancuso's recipe, we'll be happy to pass it on to Kathy.
(Image of Mancuso's Gondola Restaurant courtesy of OldKC.com)