Don't substitute corn starch and milk for cream.
Around Little Italy
San Francisco holds no more interesting district than that lying around the base of Telegraph Hill, and extending over toward North Beach, even as far as Fisherman's Wharf. Here is the part of San Francisco that first felt the restoration impulse, and this was the first part of San Francisco rebuilt after the great fire, and in its rebuilding it recovered all of its former characteristics, which is more than can be said of any other part of the rebuilt city.
Here, extending north from Jackson street to the Bay, are congregated Italians, French, Portuguese and Mexicans, each in a distinct colony, and each maintaining the life, manners and customs, and in some instances the costumes, of the parent countries, as fully as if they were in their native lands. Here are stores, markets, fish and vegetable stalls, bakeries, paste factories, sausage factories, cheese factories, wine presses, tortilla bakeries, hotels, pensions, and restaurants; each distinctive and full of foreign life and animation, and each breathing an atmosphere characteristic of the country from which the parent stock came.
Walk along the streets on the side of Telegraph Hill and one can well imagine himself transported to a sunny hillside in Italy, for here he hears no other language than that which came from the shores of the Mediterranean. Here are Italians of all ages, sexes and conditions of servitude, from the padrone to the bootblack who works for a pittance until he obtains enough to start himself in business. If one investigate closely it will be found that many of the people of this part of San Francisco have been here for years and still understand no other language than that of their native home. Why should they learn anything else, they say. Everybody around them, and with whom they come in contact speaks Italian. Here are the Corsicans, with their peculiar ideas of the vendetta and the cheapness of life in general, and the Sicilians and Genoese and Milanese. Here are some from the slopes of Vesuvius or Aetna, with inborn knowledge of the grape and of wine making. All have brought with them recipes and traditions, some dating back for hundreds of years, or even thousands, to the days before the Christian Era was born. It is just the same to them as it was across the ocean, for they hear the same dialect and have the same customs. Do they desire any special delicacy from their home district, they need but go to the nearest Italian grocery store and get it, for these stores are supplied direct from Genoa or Naples. This is the reason that many of the older men and women still speak the soft dialect of their native communities, and if you are so unfortunate as not to be able to understand them, then it is you who are the loser.
Do you wish to know something about conditions in Mexico? Would you like to learn what the Mexicans themselves really think about affairs down in that disturbed republic? Go along Broadway west of Grant avenue, and then around the corner on Stockton, and you will see strange signs, and perhaps you will not know that "Fonda" means restaurant, or that "Tienda," means a store. But these are the signs you will see, and when you go inside you will hear nothing but the gentle Spanish of the Mexican, so toned down and so changed that some of the Castilians profess to be unable to understand it.
Here you will find all the articles of household use that are to be found in the heart of Mexico, and that have been used for hundreds of years despite the progress of civilization in other countries. You will find all the strange foods and all the inconsequentials that go to make the sum of Mexican happiness, and if you can get sufficiently close in acquaintance you will find that not only will they talk freely to you, but they will tell you things about Mexico that not even the heads of the departments in Washington are aware of.
Perhaps you would like to know something about the bourgeoise French, those who have come from the peasant district of the mother country.