|Olive Bread...Be still my heart!|
And believe me, I have traveled to many states where food "options" are as interesting as white bread. Sometimes just one, chain supermarket, where the most exciting spice was labeled "McCormick". And where most restaurants are limited to the standard franchised chained variety, i.e., dinner at the Outback or breakfast at (heaven help us) the Waffle House.
I'm not trying to be a food snob here (yes, I so am), but maybe it's because being wedged in between two major U.S cities, our area thrives with an ethic diversity that screams for food and flavoring variations!
|A full market of cheese, every kind you would want!|
I've written many times about the Reading Terminal, in downtown Philly that is literally 10 minutes from my house. It is the country's oldest indoor Farmers Market and there is almost nothing you can't find. It is a food lover's smorgasbord!
And now, yesterday, I found what will become a new favorite haunt about 25 minutes away in Marlton, NJ, A place where I walked in and immediately thought of my grandmother and aunt. Oh, how they would have loved this concept...an Italian Supermarket. Yep, (with the exception of a sushi bar among its incredible food court area), this place is a full blown taste of Italy with isles of olive oil and cases of cheese wheels. They had me at "Welcome to Rastelli's".
|...and what is cheese without wine!|
|Chicken breast stuffed with ricotta cheese, spinach & peppers|
|Just pass the butter please!|
Rastelli's made me want to go home and cook. Really cook. Pots of steaming pasta, spicy sauces with sausage, meatballs and cutlets. Sprinkled with the best Parmesan cheese. The only problem, I won't have a functional kitchen for another week. But when it's finished, a trip back will be necessary to fill my house with family, friends and a blend of amazing aromas!
|Sam has the goods...|
As we were walking out of the market with our basket full, I realized what is right about this place. As someone who loves to cook, it is stimulating. It awakens the senses to the possibilities of creating a great meal. That is how this whole piece started today. Options and variety are crucial to living life well.
|...and so much more!|
And catching my eye as I left, was a sign standing near the door stating a brief history of what started as a family owned business. The last paragraph is what spoke to me:
"This is not your typical grocery. You can sense that the moment you walk through our door. The variety, the aromas, the freshness, the open market feel, the people who care as much about your food as you do. And we'll go to any lengths necessary. For the love of great food."
And that just about says it all...with one more thing!
|Who knew this can was still around?|