Sunday, May 17, 2009

Glorioso formaggio!


Say cheese! Or in this instance…formaggio. Il meraviglioso mondo dei formaggi (the wonderful world of cheese). Could there be any better way to welcome Mellow Yellow Monday than with a big hunk of parmigiana reggiano?

I think four of the saddest words are: “I don’t do dairy.”

This abundanza display of cheese is from the legendary Volpi market. In St. Louis there is a venerable Italian district known as “The Hill”. Charming, parochial, historic, this neat-as-a-pin neighborhood of shotgun houses and adorned Madonna statues thrives as a throw-back in time that’s steeped in heritage.

Let’s take a walking tour.

The reigning merchant triumvirate consists of Volpi’s, the salumeria, Viviano’s, the general market, and Missouri Bakery, the celebrated shop for sweets. Mixed among them are sandwich shops, elegant restaurants, sidewalk cafes, bocce courts, the local catholic parish, bars, ball parks and the best coffee roaster in St. Louis.


Volpi is America’s oldest manufacturer of authentic Italian meat products that have been hand-crafted for three generations by accomplished salumieri. Exclusive family recipes, spice combinations and curing methods have brought Volpi global success. Mmmm, I love their pancetta.


Viviano’s food and wine market is always a beehive of activity. On any given Saturday it’s not unusual to stand in line at the meat/cheese counter for over an hour waiting to place your order. Here is their bill of fare.


This aisle in Viviano’s is fully stocked with imported tomato products, and fancy pastes like anchovy and black olive. They have amazingly affordable prices on olive oil and vino!


The sugared almonds provide a spot of color. These bring back such great memories from my childhood when I felt so grown up eating them. I loved sucking off the sugar and biting into the crunchy nuts.


The Missouri Bakery draws people from miles away. Their Italian bread flies off the shelves and their famous cookies are sold by the pound. My favorite treats are the custard filled cream puffs and the old fashioned peanut roll.


One of the many, many Madonna statues that are found in almost every yard on The Hill. This one is a wee bit more glitzy than most. At Christmas they have a neighborhood display of nativity scenes along with some really sparkly holiday decorations.

If you’re parched after this tour, you can head over to Rigazzi’s for a frosted fish bowl of beer, or maybe to Milo’s to “drink the wall” and play some bocce. Ciao. Enjoy your week.

19 comments:

Sally in WA said...

Great post and pictures. Thanks for the tour!

Cynthia said...

OHhhhhh!!! So nice. :^)
Italian food...my favorite. Amazingly there is quite a settlement of Italians in Oklahoma...here and there. About 30 miles from me is the most amazing restaurant ever. Very authentic. Ahhhhhh! Their eggplant parmigiana!!!!! :^) ;^)
About an hour and a half away is a community called Krebs, which was originally a mining community settled by Italians. There are three famous restaurant's there. I've been to Pete's Place. It is amazing. They seat you in your own private room and bring the meal in courses!
There is also a grocery store so much like what you have just posted! It is called Lovera's.
Great memories!
Thank you,
C

Ribbon said...

There is a large Italian community here in the city of Perth in Western Australia and of course there are Italian communities throughout the country.... me included :-)

Very Yummy Post... thank you and best wishes from Ribbon

Cormac Brown said...

Maybe some pecorino instead?

Karen said...

I've just had dinner and I'm now feeling hungry again !! :-)

The cheeses look so good. I'm a sucker for real cheese !!!

ds said...

YUM!!!

Lola said...

Well, as far as Italian specialties, you're covered then! Great post, Patrizia. I had fun grocery shopping with you. It's so great that through blogging we get to learn snippets of places near and far. Grazie and Ciao bella

Lin said...

Hello from a fellow Pyzahn! Thanks for visiting my blog. This market looks amazing. We, of course, have many such markets in Chicago. I blogged about one myself here -> http://ups-and-downs-with-anastasia.blogspot.com/2008/11/italian-market.html Gotta love all those Italian goodies!

Marie Reed said...

My husband doesn't eat cheese! It's a nightmare! Whenever he goes out of town I have a cheese fest with gratins galore and fondue!

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Mmmm - delicious post! Love these Mellow Yellow Monday stops in bloggydom - thanks. :) But now I'm hungry.

Blueberry said...

I thought Rigazzi's closed! Glad it's still open. I used to live *near* The Hill on Scanlan near Ivanhoe (one of my St. Louis addresses, also lived near Tower Grove Park, off South Broadway, in Soulard, and quite a few more places)

g. said...

Delish!!!!!

Pacey said...

Love the cheeses...Looks so delicious.

SpookyRach said...

~drools~

23 minutes until lunch time...

drollgirl said...

suddenly i wish i was in st. louis!!!!!!! YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and you are so right. "i don't do dairy" is one horrifying and sad statement. i hope to never utter those words!

dang it i wish i was there. the mind and senses reeeeeeeeeeeeeeel at all that is offered. YUM.

hip chick said...

Oh man!!! That is just so yummy. I'm salivating.

Meghan said...

Cheese makes the world a better place.

Martha said...

What a delicious post! I do dairy, meat and sugar :-)

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Cheese is one of the top reasons to live. Not doing dairy is like saying "I am an unintelligent half breed." You know, unless it's for allergy reasons, I don't hold those against people. But come on. Cheese is FANTASTIC.