Loyal readers know that the fork on my logo is stuck in the map at Jeanette, Pennsylvania, right around the location of DeLallo Italian Marketplace on Route 30. It’s where I developed my love of cheese, salami, marinated vegetables and many other traditional Italian foods. I’ve been driving through the area a lot lately, trying to pin down some stops for a spring tour, and it’s right near Jeanette where I often need a little sustenance to carry on my mission. From the days when it was just a small roadside store, to the international presence in Italian food product sales that is now DeLallo’s, just hearing the name brings back great memories. When I stopped in today, it was really crowded and even the back parking lot was filled. So I didn’t hang out for very long, but instead, rounded the aisles speedily to pick up a few of my favorites. Here’s what I bought:
1. Pepperoni Bread (made only on weekends) – Recommended to me by the former executive chef of the swanky and special Barclay Prime restaurant in Philadelphia ( try the bacon wrapped scallops and the mac and cheese), Jim LoCascio, this bread has just the right balance of sauce, cheese and pepperoni, Gourmet food? No. Delicious? Yes.
2. Olives – DeLallo’s has lots of olives, and on the day I visited, they even had raw green ones. You can buy a few scoops of whatever you like and eat them on the way home in the car.
3. San Marzano tomatoes – Who knew that the real San Marzano tomatoes have three special labels on the side. . . . . Most of the tomatoes labelled San Marzano are not the real deal. Now you know.
4. Beautiful Beans – I love beans and I also love beautiful packaging. Could I find a one pound bag of beans for 79 cents at a regular supermarket? Yes, but just look at this beautiful jar of borlotti beans.
DeLallo’s will always hold a special place in my heart. They’ve kept up with the times, but haven’t lost that old school charm.