Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Of Delis and Pastries

In our travels, we have found meat markets and butcher shops complete with the aromas of seasonings and spices, and, with less frequency, we have found local pastry shops that have their tasty specialties, but invariably we find ourselves imaging deli selections from Altomonte’s (Doylestown and Warminster), Ben & Irv’s (Huntingdon Valley), Hymie’s (Merion), or the Famous 4th Street Deli (Philadelphia) and pastry creations from Terminis (Philadelphia) in PA.

And then there’s Tully’s Italian Deli and Saratori’s Italian Pastry Shoppe in Albuquerque. The two shops, neighbors in a small strip mall and owned and operated by the Camuglia family since 1970, brought us close to the memories of our favorite deli and pastry stops.

We introduced ourselves to Mark as he was arranging some gift baskets and mentioned that we were so happy to find a true Italian deli.

He eagerly answered questions about the sauces, cold cuts, and olives on display.

Partly because of his enthusiasm and partly due to the lingering satisfactions from yesterday's noshing at the St. Clair Winery and Bistro, we left with items for continued noshing at the RV. We enjoyed some (clockwise from the bottom) imported prosciutto, mortadella, sopressata calabrese, Bravo Farms (Traver, CA) cheddar and California organic olive oil with French baguette rounds, all accompanied with a St. Clair Gewurztraminer.

We followed this noshing with some pastries from Saratori's. I'm not sure what it is about the storefront, but it seems to announce that sweets are to be found beyond the front door.

Entering the pastry shop was like coming home to Grandma's. Waiting here in the "parlor" for the cookies to come out of the oven seemed like the natural thing to do.

The colorful interior and displays invited inspection.

Walking from display to display presented us with shelves of pastries--each group more enticing that the last.

The Double Chocolate Decadence biscotti looked especially appealing, but just say the word "cannoli," and I have four fingers raised.

And so, after the cold cuts and cheese, we topped off our meal with cannolis--chocolate-dipped shells with a velvety-smooth, ricotta-based filling that had some powdered sugar, vanilla, and loads of semi-sweet chocolate chips--and Italian chocolate biscotto and Italian wedding biscotto. All accompanied with some St. Clair Plum Loco wine.

A truly fine meal with reminders of hometown delis and pastry.

Now, about the craving for some fresh-baked bread . . . .

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