A charcuterie opened in 1936 – this time established by Italians! Francesco Monaco came from Naples with his father around 1900. They sold pasta and wine, while charcuterie was imported from Italy, Germany and France at the time. They started to buy their own farms, and Francesco Monaco set up the business in 1936. He sold all kinds of pork products. His location was 6 rue de l’archevêché, which is now 6 el Oskofieh Street, as it was near all the churches, and is still standing there today. It was the custom of people in the past to pass by after they left church on Sunday, and buy all the pork products they needed.

During World War II the Monacos, being Italian, had to leave the establishment and it was run by somebody else. This was from 1941-1946. When the war ended, they took over the management again.

The Alexandrians who lived in the cosmopolitan city used to buy their charcuterie from there. Before 1970, Monaco catered to Groppi and all the big hotels in Cairo. Now they cater to all the Red Sea resorts. Their specialty is cooked and smoked ham, for which there was a big demand in the grand parties in Alexandria. They also provided ham on the bone, and always sent a member of their staff to carve it.

Funnily enough, when people in Cairo today buy mortadella, they ask for ½ a kilo of Monaco! The original establishment is still there, and is run by the two grandsons Franco and Rolando Monaco.

Ham Sandwich

½ a baguette
125 grams smoked ham, or pressed ham
100 grams sliced mozzarella cheese
A pinch of oregano
Put in medium oven until mozzarella melts.