The Amazing Wheels of Rodolphe Le Meunier

“Puits d’Astier,” Rocco whispered. It sounded like a new frangrance. Pwee d’awz-tee-eh. And it might as well be. Since Saturday, I’ve been patting Puits d’Astier on the insides of my wrists, and wherever I go in the world I leave the aroma of sweet sheep’s milk and hazelnuts. It’s true. Riders of SEPTA, Philadelphia’s public transit system, know me and thank me. Expect men who peddle scented oils from duffle bags to pursue you with bottles of faux Puits d’Astier soon.

Three Stars from Neal’s Yard Dairy

March brings the Flower Show to Philadelphia, and with this year’s “British Landscapes” it seems only proper to offer you a selection of Britain’s best wedges. Should you overdose on the smell of hyacinths, you may wish to pop into Di Bruno Bros. for a sniff and nibble. (Di Bruno Bros. will be a vendor at the show, but the flagship store at 18th and Chestnut is within walking distance.)

Il Viaggio in Italia con Scott, l’Ultimo Giorno

The theme of today’s visits centered on the combination of the Italian approach to tradition combined with innovation. The quote, “L’innovazione e’ la traduzione riuscita bene,” or “Innovation is the result of well managed tradition,” came from Mirella Galloni, the daughter of the founder of Fratelli Galloni. Our fourth day in Italy ended in Parma with a visit to one of the Galloni prosciuttifici (prosciutto crudo plants.)

Get A Shroom

Nothing puts me in the mood for love like mushrooms. I know, I know – they’re a far cry from oysters or caviar, but aphrodisiacs rely on individual appeal and I happen to be mad for forest smells: wet earth, moss, the vaguely cabbage-y smell of tree rot. These are what led me to a special Valentine’s Day threesome: roasted mushrooms stuffed with Nancy’s Camembert and a spot of Brussels sprout relish.

Il Viaggio in Italia con Scott, Il Terzo Giorno

I had a “kid in a candy store” moment when I noticed cylinders of cheese wrapped in paper among the traditionally shaped Parmigiano Reggiano wedges. “Questo e’ il cuore? (Is this the heart)?” I asked the chef. Yes, he confirmed. They cut the heart of the wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano out, shaped in small cylinders and sell them separately. Since the heart ripens faster, it’s always the most delicious part of the wheel – something commonly overlooked.

Il Viaggo in Italia con Scott, Il Secondo Giorno

A few months ago, we sent our Imports & Exports Procurement Manager, Scott Case, on an Italian trade mission to Italy. Along with representatives from several other specialty retailers from around the USA, he scoured local markets and shops for new products and visited with several producers of authentic Italian specialty products. This effort was to bolster trade with Italy and to ensure that the word is getting out about the great work these small, artisan producers are doing.

Il Viaggo in Italia con Scott, Primo Giorno

A few months ago, we sent our Imports & Exports Procurement Manager, Scott Case, on an Italian trade mission to Italy. Along with representatives from several other specialty retailers from around the USA, he scoured local markets and shops for new products and visited with several producers of authentic Italian specialty products. This effort was to bolster trade with Italy and to ensure that the word is getting out about the great work these small, artisan producers are doing.