Nikki sat down next to this story at an NPR event where we played our Hidden Kitchen episode "The Birth of the Frito," about the origin of the iconic corn chip. At the dinner, Lois DeDemenico, 80, told Nikki that she had been part of the birth of Rice-A-Roni.
Lois began to tell a story about San Francisco in the 1940s and the convergence of a Canadian immigrant bride, an Italian-American pasta family, and a survivor of the Armenian genocide – all of which led to the creation of "The San Francisco Treat."
We followed Lois, a philanthropist and widow of Tom DeDomenico, one of the founders of Golden Grain Macaroni Co., to her home in Oakland, Calif., to chronicle this hidden kitchen.
Listen to the radio story and listen, read, and see more on our story page.