Here’s another Brooklyn treasure to which we were directed by our friend George Meserole (whose ancestors were the inspiration for Meserole Avenue). Mondial is an inconspicuous corner bakery with shelves of classic Italian pastries for sale, cookies in particular: butter cookies, almond cookies, sandwich cookies, chocolate dots and cherry dots, macaroons and honey balls. There are amaretta with cherries and almonds, sfogiatelle (paper-thin sheets of dough wrapped around sweet ricotta cheese: a sweet treat favored by Carmella Soprano, Tony’s wife on the HBO show), butter cookies and biscotti.
The best of all, in our opinion, are pignoli. Pignoli are just-barely-sweet little logs made with ground almonds and dotted with pine nuts. We took away a box of them mid-afternoon, and they were delicious the rest of the day and into the evening, especially with cups of good Italian coffee that we picked up as we drove around the neighborhoods. The last of them were equally good the next morning, back home, at breakfast. But George assured us that the prime time to come to Mondial is early in the day, when the pignoli are still warm from the oven and virtually melt on the tongue. We’ll be back!
"Our friend George, the Baedeker of Brooklyn, brought us this gift box of Mondial cookies from a visit the day before. He felt that because the cookies were 24 hours old, they weren't as good as fresh, at the source. But that didn't bother us: the contents the box were devoured almost instantly"
"It's impossible to describe the buttery-sweet aroma exuded by these trays of cookies in the window."
"One of Brooklyn's modest treasures"
"If you don't live in Brooklyn, you don't likely know about this out-of-the-way corner store on 20th Avenue. But if you're passing through, it's well worth a cookie detour."