San Remo Italian Imports in Totowa, New Jersey, is an Italian imports store owned by a friendly man from Italy that sells food and sundries, such as canned and jarred foods, cookies, candies, cakes, olive oil, vinegar, coffee– your essential items from Italy. There are some kitchen items like bowls, platters and cheese graters. The store also has some Italian greeting cards, movies, CDs, T-shirts and tchotchke from Italy like Italian horns, keychains, wooden Pinocchios and stickers. One of the highlights of this store is that they sell Italian magazines, which are hard to find. They have a good selection of tabloid-type, cooking and news magazines.
The trend in New York these days is regional Italian food–not the “Northern Italian” cuisine found at so many of the city’s Italian restaurants but the food from Italy’s 20 regions. I Trulli is the cuisine of Apulia or Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot. It is named after the trulli, or circular, white, stone hobbit-like houses found in Alberobello and other cities in Puglia. While I Trulli has been open in New York for a number of years, this was my first visit.
The menu at I Trulli has some interesting Puglian classics, but the majority of it is characteristic of Southern Italy or Italy in general. For example, the malloreddus from Sardinia, cavatelli with broccoli rabe (they add almonds); spaghetti with meatballs and tomato; penne with ricotta, tomato and basil; eggplant parmigiana; veal Milanese; chicken parmigiana; broccoli rabe with pepperoncino and more.
It’s hard to see our bread for the evening, but it came with ricotta cheese, the current condiment of choice at Italian restaurants in the city instead of the typical olive oil.
The focaccia was very good–fresh and with pronounced tomato flavor.
We got the fritto misto for antipasto. This pic is not the best–it kind of looks like a huge fried grasshopper–sorry about that. But it was fried calamari and whitebait, a general term for small fish–which may have been sardines.
We also got the panzerotti, which are the smaller, Puglian version of calzones. I got the classic tomato and cheese, and they were very good.
I thought it would be fun to try a salumi and cheese plate as well although none of these were from Puglia. I got the mortadella; talleggio, a cow’s milk cheese from Lombardy; and crotonese, a sheep’s milk cheese from Calabria. All were very good.
For my entree, I wanted to get the orecchiette because those are characteristic of Puglia, but I didn’t want to eat rabbit ragu. So I got the cavatelli with broccoli rabe and toasted almonds. It was good.
My friend got the malloreddus with saffron, sausage and tomato. It was good as well.
Posted in Italian, New York, Restaurant
Tagged Apulia, cavatelli, crotonese, focaccia, fritto misto, I Trulli, Italy, malloreddus, mortadella, New York, orecchiette, panzerotti, Puglia, talleggio, trulli
May is International Mediterranean Diet Month. The Mediterranean Diet was “discovered” in the 1950s by Ancel Keys who noticed the low incidence of heart disease amongst Italians, but it was eaten by Italians and other cultures in the Mediterranean since ancient times. It is a healthy diet of whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruit, olive oil, nuts and fish. Oldways, a nonprofit that promotes health and tradition, created International Mediterranean Diet Month to showcase this healthy diet.
Today is Hunting for the Very Best’s 4th anniversary. Yes, I started this blog back on July 3, 2009.
July is National Ice Cream Month, so I’m doing a Sweets Week with a focus on frozen treats like ice cream and frozen yogurt.
The staff at Yogorino say a lot of people come just to take a picture of their mural, that famous one of men eating lunch on a steel beam high in the air of the NYC skyline. Only in this photo, the men are eating something else.
You guessed it, frozen yogurt. Yogorino is a bit different from other frozen yogurt places. The Italian company’s philosophy is one of health, in the form of probiotics and their benefits. I can get on board with that. It’s also not self serve, and there is only one flavor of yogurt. But at Yogorino, that’s all you need.
Verdict: This yogurt has a unique flavor, a creamy tart flavor unlike any other in the city. And of course, there are toppings, such as fresh berries, which I have gotten before. However, the yogurt itself is so good here that I eat it plain.
Posted in Dessert, Healthy, Ice Cream, Italian, New York
Tagged anniversary, blog, frozen yogurt, ice cream, Italy, July, National Ice Cream Month, probiotics, Yogorino, yogurt