Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So Much More Than Olive Oil

After years of driving past the DeLallo store on Route 30 near Jeanette, we finally stopped in this weekend. Wow! I can't believe I never went there before!

It's a large specialty grocery store with creaking old wood floors and the hustle and bustle that you usually only find in the Strip. The olive and antipasto bar takes up the center of the store, where there were long lines of people waiting to buy olives of every type imaginable. To the right was an entire gift room, filled with gift baskets and a fantastic selection of cooking tools and some servingware, dinnerware, and barware. The rest of the store looked like a regular grocery, but its shelves were a delight just to browse with pickled hot cauliflower, imported Italian pasta sauces, freshly made pasta, artichoke bruschetta, ciliegine (freshly made mozzarella) with cherry tomatoes, and a mind-dazzling display of more types of olive oil than I knew existed.

The best part? The prices. The cheeses were priced better than I've seen either at the regular grocery store or in the Strip. A big hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which would cost between $10 and $15 at Giant Eagle or the Strip, cost just $7. I also picked up a gift set containing a large bottle of olive oil, eight ceramic dipping bowls, and four dipping spices to mix with the oil for under $12.

The section of homemade bread and all the snacks (five-pound bags of Swedish fish and giant Clark bars in addition to Italian crackers and cookies) rounded out the selection.

A trip to this store would be worth it any time, but especially to stock up for a party. Mangia!