Thursday, February 14, 2013

We Interrupt this Visit to Tucson…

[Note: some changes in the steps to download photos into the blog have led to some jumbled organization on the blog if you are using Internet Explorer as your browser. Because of this problem and others, I have used Firefox as my browser.]

for a trip up the road to Phoenix. Chuck was in need of some dental work, and we had gotten the name of a dentist from our cousin Raina. Actually, we made the trip twice and had planned to meet up with Raina and Jesse for lunch. But Chuck’s extended time in the dental chair (two and a half hours) and Raina and Jesse’s early afternoon appointment cancelled that get together. But on the second trip we did have the chance for an extended lunch with our aunt Evie and Raina at—where else—Andreoli Italian Market in Scottsdale.

When we arrived—late—Evie and Raina were sharing Andreoli’s Maresciallo—an antipasta plate with assorted meats, cheeses, and olives served with a basket of house baked bread. No photo exists of this plate. We were so ravenous that we demolished the remainder in record order and barely took a breath let alone a photo.

We took a more leisurely approach to the order of Calamaretti di Suora Celeste or deep fried calamari rings and tentacles served—as are many of Andreoli’s dishes—with a small salad. This is calamari that needs no embellishment. No marinara. No flavored aioli. No lemon. Just the thinly battered and sweet calamari.

With the calamari came an order of Patatine Fritte—Andreoli’s answer to French fries with fried leek strips and about which I have written at great length in the past. As Chuck is nibbling on the fried leek strips, he asked “I wonder if I can just get an order of these leeks?”

But it was time to move on the main courses. Evie chose a bowl of potato and leek soup that was broth based rather than cream based. The bowl contained large chunks of potato and leeks in a broth that had been flavored by the addition of prosciutto trimmings that contained both fat and meat. The use of these scraps is common in Italian cooking and not only season soups but sauces and other dishes.

We then moved on to the multiple sandwich extravaganza—starting with the Tizio with Andreoli’s house made sausage and sautĂ©ed onions and peppers. This is one of Chuck’s favorites, and he especially likes the way the sausage gets slightly charred and smoky from grilling.

The Tizio was joined by the Forza Italia with speck, trugele cheese (a cow's milk, semi-soft cheese from the Piedmont region in Italy. It most closely resembles Asiago), and arugula. “Speck is a cured meat native to the Tyrol…. This meat enjoys a protected designation of origin (PDO) in the European Union, which means that only meats which have been processed in a specific area of the Tyrol and in accordance with traditional practices may be labeled as ‘speck.’ This designation is designed to protect historic and regional foods by celebrating traditional foods and preparation methods and providing consumers with labeling regulation which assures them that the products they are buying are prepared in specific ways…. Traditional speck is a meat similar to bacon, prosciutto, or pancetta, with a distinct flavor and preparation method which is separate from these traditional meats. This meat is often served as an appetizer, traditionally included on hospitality plates, and it can also be used in cooked dishes (

Not too long thereafter came the Bocco di Rosa or eggplant, mozzarella, tomato sauce, and parmigiano sandwich. I will admit to only having a small taste of this. Ever since an unfortunate experience with eggplant while in college, I have tried to keep a distance between myself and eggplant. Unless in Cajun Louisiana where they do magic with eggplant.

And our final sandwich was the Porchetta—a favorite of Raina, Chuck, and me. Andreoli uses just the right balance of fennel and black pepper to accentuate the pork rather than overpower it.

By this time we were quite full—but not too full for dessert. So we shared a plate of two sfogliatella and chocolate truffles. The latter were like a very creamy and rich chocolate fudge, and I dare anyone to eat more than one at a time.

Sfogliatella “are unquestionably the sweet symbol of one of the most representative cities of Italy, Naples, the capital of the Region of Campania…. Outside Italy, though, they are seen as a quintessential part of the whole pasticceria italiana: the sfogliatelle.

The queen is undoubtedly the sfogliatella riccia (curly), made with a soft, flaky dough, similar to puff pastry or phyllo and filled with a mixture of ricotta, semolina, sugar, cinnamon, eggs and some candied citrus and/or other fruit” ( These had a fairly crunchy outer shell and were filled with a lemon flavored ricotta mixture.

We thoroughly enjoyed our long lunch with Raina and Evie. Unfortunately, we forgot to take their photo so you won’t see them on this blog. I know what you are thinking. They remember to get a photo of that dumb cat toy but not the family. Sorry.

Andreoli remains one of our all time favorites and again receives a 5.0 Addie rating.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

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