Carlino’s in Ardmore on Christmas Eve is a madhouse of Italian-grandmother food and love

Dec 23, 2019 362

BY: Maria Panaritis

It isn’t even Christmas Eve yet — that’s when police will be outside directing traffic to contain the cannoli chaos. But Laura Carlino and her crew are racing like elves on deadline. “The bakers,” she says, as I pull her from behind a counter at Carlino’s Market a few days ago, "they’ve been here since Jerry started at 8 p.m. last night. The other two took over at 4 a.m. and will keep going till maybe 4 in the afternoon.”

There’s flour on Laura’s black shirt. Her bangs are pulled into a clump atop her head. It’s the no-nonsense look of an Italian mother in a busy kitchen and it is a thing of beauty — just like everything that comes out of this we-do-everything place that her immigrant mother-in-law, the late Mama Carlino, founded in a former house four decades ago in Ardmore.

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