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Set Up a Friggitoria at Home

Published May 2, 2022

An Italian fry shop inspiration for spring snacking

Growing up, whenever we were going to have something fried for dinner — usually fish — my father set up a station in the garage. Whether it was at my parents’ house at the Jersey Shore or, once they retired, in Coastal Carolina, my father had one of those electric fryers more wide than deep that he used to fry fish of any sort: smelt, tile, grouper, or whatever he caught recently that he thought we’d enjoy fried.

I used to think it was a little weird that he set up in the garage, but as an adult, I understood he was probably trying to get away from my mother and me. In addition, he usually synced frying fish with the SEC football schedule, so he’d go out there to watch a game on a boxy little TV from the early ‘90s and drink a coupla knocks — usually some dubious brand of beer. He’d set up the fry station on a newspaper-covered card table an arm’s length from his East Coast topo map he had bulletin-boarded to the wall (for planning fishing trips), his tackle boxes, and drawers and pegboard filled with enough tools to outfit a hardware store. It was his sanctuary.