New Goodies at The Italian Store

You gotta try these, says our dining critic.

Even if you aren’t traveling to Italy this year, a visit to the Italian Store will give you a taste of it. Owner Robert Tramonte stocks his shelves with interesting products he finds on annual trips to the old country. “With the DNA of Leonardo da Vinci, Italy never runs out of ideas,” he says. We would have to agree.

Need some inspiration for quick meals, snacks or party bites? Here are a few of the latest goodies:

Sapore brand’s black pearls of balsamic vinegar ($18.99) look like caviar and burst in your mouth to provide a surge of sweetness to a swipe of fresh ricotta or a slab of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Alternately, try a triangle of Pecorino Romano dipped in Sogno Toscano brand’s honey laced with black truffles ($24.99).

A new bronze-cut dried pasta, sold under the Italian Store label, is available in varieties such as pappardelle all’ouvo, spaghetti chitarra, paccheri, fussilone and pici ($6.99 for 500 grams, or roughly 17 ounces). “It’s made in Tuscany, where they are very pristine about everything they produce,” Tramonte says. “The pasta has tiny ridges and really holds onto sauce, and the flour they use is high in protein [14 percent] so it cooks up al dente very well. And it’s air-dried, so the flour’s flavors are concentrated.”

For your pantry, Gangi Dante brand organic Sicilian oregano leaves and flowers are dried on their branches and packaged ($5.99 per bunch). The perfume and flavor are far superior to grocery-store dried oregano and will surely make you a convert.

And for dessert? Try Mathilde Vincenzi brand Tesoro—rounds of baked puff pastry, about the size of a quarter, topped with a crunchy sugar coating and filled with fluffy vanilla cream ($3.49 for eight).

That’s not all. The shop’s Westover location recently acquired a machine that injects warm Nutella into cornetti and croissants that it thaws (they come flash-frozen from Italy) and bakes daily.

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Categories: Food & Drink