Clara’s Sweet Crema Espresso

No one tells a story quite like Clara.

In the days of the Great Depression people often cooked with whatever they had on hand. This ingenuity was the origin for dishes like chocolate wacky cake and Ritz cracker “apple” pie and the internet has made one Depression era survivor famous for her frugal cooking. Clara Cannucciari (née Bonfanti) was filmed by her grandson making the dishes she grew up with. Her Italian heritage and her mother’s economic meals helped shaped the recipes she made for years afterwards.

Sadly Clara died in 2013, but her videos posted on the YouTube channel, Great Depression Cooking, have continued to bring people closer to history through their adopted internet grandma. We’ve been fans of Clara for a while now and thought that there would be no new videos to be seen, but low and behold another one was recently posted.

Clara Cannucciari
Via/ YouTube

This newest video is all about how Clara made her espresso. It wasn’t planned as an episode of the series, but has been brought out from the film archives. Clara says at the beginning of the video that the first thing she loves is her family, and the second thing she loves is coffee. We couldn’t agree more!

Clara Cannucciari and her husband
Via/ YouTube

Indeed, her grandson remarked later that no one ever saw her drink water, but that she always had a cup of coffee going. And, she says, “don’t go cheap on the coffee” meaning the quality of the coffee grounds. Clara said that while she grew up on American coffee, she converted to Italian coffee as an adult.

Her recipe for making her version of crema espresso is really simple. She starts with a metal Italian style stovetop coffee brewer (moka). After making the coffee Italian style (espresso) she does a trick to create a frothy, sweet foam that hovers on top of the coffee.

moka coffee maker
Via/ YouTube

Watch the video below to see what her trick is and to hear her amusing stories of her first visit to Italy as a young bride.