Thursday, May 26, 2011

Specialty Supermarkets (and a quick recipe for Artichoke & Onion "pizza")

I am sure everyone has some sort of specialty supermarket around them, especially if they live in a bigger metropolitan area. Of course, there are the Whole Foods and Trader Joe's of the nation, which everyone seems to love. (Myself included). Those stores provide a lot of organic, healthy foods at a reasonable cost. Unfortunately, we don't really have Whole Foods near us, but we frequent Trader Joe's as much as we can. While there is one located a mere 4 miles from my house, I continuously beg them to add a store in my town as we have so many available retail locations and it would be successful here. So far, no luck.

But what we did get last week is an Italian Marketplace that currently only has 5 stores around Long Island. It's called Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace, and it is amazing! It's part regular supermarket and part stepping into a market in Italy. There is a sizable cheese section, homemade pasta section and "deli" area with lots of delicious Italian creations. There is also an incredible bakery, complete with a homemade gelato section!! You can get homemade soups and sauces and much, much more.

I'd known about this place from some family friends, and we visited the original store once when we passed by it. We ended up buying ground chicken that had been mixed with spinach and feta and some other odds 'n ends that trip, but nothing major. When we heard this marketplace was going into an empty Rite Aid store that is walking distance from my house, we got excited. We thought it was opening Memorial Day weekend, but to my surprise, they had a soft opening last weekend and when I drove by and saw people going in, I knew we would be popping in there as well. And, we did.

First we were greeted with a sample of their homemade ravioli or sausage and peppers as they were trying to entice us to buy these products. Honestly, the ravioli was some of the most delicious ravioli I had tasted in a long, long time. My husband originally declined a free sample, but I made him go get one so I could have another. Mmm! We also got a taste of the gelato. We both tried the peach, and it was delicious. It was seriously like eating a fresh, frozen peach.

I typically hate peach flavored products like yogurt or ice cream because I often feel it tastes fake, but this was GOOD. (So good, that we decided to go back later in the afternoon to get a snack of gelato!)

I also got a taste of one of their pound cakes from the bakery - it was great! The day before, at a craft show, I had tried pound cake someone was selling and I thought it was dry and awful and didn't know why someone thought it was so great that they could sell it at high prices. But this cake was perfect - it wasn't dry, and it had great flavor. They also had samples of bread out and that too, was amazing. Two things we didn't love that they were giving out were their zeppole's (honestly, had better at fairs), and their homemade fresh donuts. Oh my god - the donuts had SO much sugar on them.

The last thing we sampled in the store was an apple fritter cake - DELICIOUS!! You have to understand, I dislike 99% of apple things. I am not an apple person - in fact - the only apples I eat are the Granny Smiths. But this cake... woah. I actually snuck about 4 pieces to try - I think we'll be buying this cake when we have our parents over for dinner!

So, after pigging out around the store, we wandered to find a few items to purchase. We weren't doing a great deal of shopping there - especially regular items because this store doesn't double coupons or take manufacturer's coupons that are printed from the Internet. So it's not worth us doing regular shopping there unless we have a good coupon from a newspaper and the item is on sale.

We purchased a spaghetti muffin from the huge "deli" section. We were intrigued immediately - sitting there on a plate was a huge muffin shaped blob of spaghetti. We inquired about it - it had meatballs and cheese and some herbs inside, as well as sauce. We were game - we got one to split. I am sure we can find a way to make this ourselves but honestly, it was so different we couldn't help but buy one to try. We also bought a square roll to make some sort of vegetable bread (see our creation below!) or something to go along with our halves of the spaghetti muffin.

There were so many delicious looking foods in the deli that two days ago we went back and purchased a spinach and carrot "cake" to split one night for dinner, another spaghetti muffin to share and some teriyaki chicken dumplings. We have yet to try these products, but they are coming up this week for us! Yum!

So, if you live in NY, and close by the Long Island area, I definitely recommend stopping by this store. Otherwise, for all of you in other parts of the country, I hope you also have some awesome specialty supermarkets that you can find some delicious creations in!

Now, I just have to figure out how to make my own spaghetti muffins...

Also, this is what we made with our roll when we bought the first spaghetti muffin. We made an artichoke and onion "pizza" type creation. I used the Light Garlic & Herb cheese spread from Laughing Cow as a base and we chopped up some artichoke hearts and onion. We sprinkled some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning over the top and I broiled them for a few minutes. (Obviously, a few minutes too long as some of the edges are burnt...I always forget how fast things broil up!!)

It was a very tasty little vegetable pizza roll thing, however. Try it!!

No comments:

Post a Comment