16 May 2012

Joe's Superette's Prosciutto Balls Found


I'd heard scuttlebutt and seen Internet reports that the famous prosciutto balls of the shuttered Joe's Superette were being made at a Soho pizzeria called Prince Street Pizza. I've been in deep mourning ever since that low profile Carroll Gardens institution closed last year. So I was curious.

I didn't manage to get to the pizzeria until a few weeks ago. I saw prosciutto balls on the menu on the wall. And when I saw a laminated New York Times article about Joe's (below) on the counter, I was hopeful. But it wasn't until I saw Louie—looking straight-jacketed in an official Prince Street Pizza polo and baseball cap—that I knew it was all true. Louie was the guy who made the balls at Joe's, taking over the duties after his boss Leo Coldonato—the inventor of the delectable treats—got sick.

I had a true Brooklyn encounter with Louie. I greeted him, told him I used to go to Joe's a lot, and had heard the balls had migrated there. He didn't betray a glimmer of recognition or gratitude; just shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don't remember you," and walked away.

I ordered a batch of prosciutto balls. They were as I remember. Yet, somehow different. Bigger, and richer with ricotta. I recall eating six very easily at Joe's. Here, four of the balls nearly overwhelmed my senses. Still, very good. Though not exactly the same.

I also learned a bit of Joe's history from Louis. I always assumed that Joe's closed because Leo died. That's not exactly true. Louie said he closed because the landlord hiked the rent, indicating he would have continued on if the rent had stayed the same. He also said a Greek restaurant was going into the space.


7 comments:

Matt said...

G. Esposito on Court has them but does not fry to order and Zito's on 7th ave in Park Slope has them as a special sometimes!

Carol Gardens said...

Thanks you SO MUCH for posting this news. I get sad every time I pass the Perette. I can't believe I will once again experience the joy of the balls.

gaparch said...

Brooks - where is Prince Street Pizza? Is it in the old Ray's Pizza space at 27 Prince?

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Yes.

Jim said...

I found the balls I remember at South Brooklyn Bagel.

Richiehtm1 said...

Those balls are no longer made there. If they are, they are not the original. My brother left that place a year ago. Loius my brother who worked and made them for 10 years at Joe's has the recipe in his head and he has not made them in over a year

Frankie said...

Hopefully one day I can bring my uncles prosciutto balls back to Brooklyn where they belong. You can count the number of people who know us real recipe on one hand, and have fingers left over. Besides myself and Louie, I only know one other person who knows his real recipe. Like I said, hopefully one day I can bring them back to where they belong.