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The Italian Deli

March 2, 2009

Just about every Monday (it is a day off) I head up to Hastings Street to the Ortona Deli to pick up lunchmeat. It never ends up with just lunchmeat. There is always something else to try.

The store isn’t that big. One big aisle down the centre with shelving and dry goods on one side and the meat and cheese window coolers on the other. You have to look pretty carefully to find things but over the years you find some gems.

Barilla pasta. This is pasta that you can boil for 10 minutes and it is still firm. It never gets pasty or soft. I have made a meal of some linguine, added olive oil and then fresh ground pepper and freshly grated Romano cheese (a cheese named after Rome having been made for over 2,00 years). Now I understand why Italians love pasta.

Cambozola. This is a blue veined cheese made up of Gorgonzola and Camembert. Creamy with a tartness that you need to limit yourself from eating it all, at once

Casa Giullia Amarene jam – sour black cherry. Not sweet but pleasant. Filled with actual cherries.I find the jar much too small.

Callipo Tuna in Olive Oil. You will never go back to Tuna in water again. 

Today my find was olives, Sicilian olives. The are large, light green, pitted olives that have a bit of a spicy taste to them. They are very firm with a bit of a crunch to them. Very different from Calamata or Morrocan olives.

It does seem that some of the fondest pleasures are not too far from your door step. I always look forward to Monday mornings.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2009 9:33 pm

    Damn Gene, you are making me both hungry and fond for Vancouver in a single blog post.

  2. Celia permalink
    April 30, 2009 11:21 am

    I love Barilla pasta too and taking trips to any italian deli. I am from St. Louis and i like to visit “The Hill” where many Italian immigrants settled and as a result, there are a ton of wonderful italian deli places to go to and restaurants. My favorite place to get italian deli meat is Volpi. Their dry-cured salami is fantastic, as well as their prosciutto. And have you ever tried rotola? It is mozzarella, prosciutto, fresh basil, sun dried tomato and hot salami rolled up. It is so good! They also have great recipes on their website – the recips are easy too!

    You can get recipes here:
    http://www.volpifoods.com/recipes/

  3. Ward permalink
    June 10, 2009 2:44 pm

    I’ve been eating tuna packed in oil on my salad and can’t imagine how I ever ate it water packed before. The fish is so moist and flavorful, plus with a splash of balsamic and a little S&P the oil makes a great dressing.

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