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North Salem Family Digs Roots For Salad Dressing

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – North Salem residents Liz and Peter Skrodelis are marketing a closely held family recipe and hoping others will find it as delicious as they do.

It is Aunt Zigrida’s, or Tante Z’s, salad dressing, brought with the family when it fled Latvia during World War II, going first to a displaced persons camp in Germany and eventually to America.

“Whenever the family got together, say, at Christmas, everybody would sit around the table and talk about how good the salad dressing was and ‘somebody should do something with this,’ and then they’d look at me,” said Peter Skrodelis.

Skrodelis was working for the National Basketball Association as vice president of broadcast operations, so although he had the palate, he had no time for salad dressing. Things changed when he retired.

Peter and Liz approached marketing expert Richard Kelley, who helped get the business off the ground. A company named Food for Thought in Honor, Mich., contracted to duplicate the recipe in quantity.

The products contain fresh ingredients such as garlic, lemon and honey, and have no preservatives or MSG.

“We had a blind taste test and no one could tell the difference from the original,” Skrodelis said.

“Tante Z’s first recipe was for the garlic vinaigrette, but she developed the honey lemon vinaigrette and spicy vinaigrette to round out the line. One thing I learned is that you have to have a complete product line to survive,” Skrodelis said. By the way, the word “tante” means “aunt” in Italian, French and German, and other languages as well.

Tante Z’s salad dressings are available in the North Salem area at Who’s Cooking? and at the Country Farmer. Close by, you will find Tante Z’s dressings at Scaglio’s, Mount Kisco Seafood, DeCicco’s, the Scotts Corners Market, Villarina’s and Shop Rite.

For more information and a charming story about Tante Z’s beloved doll, go to www.tante-z.com .

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