Arthur Avenue Little Italy: A Foodie's Delight!

Cece is still recovering from all the specialty foods she ate and brought home to Long Island from Arthur Avenue, Little Italy in the Bronx!  What an adventure it was!

Cece and her sissy went first to see Stephania in a wonderful Italian store named Cerini Coffee and Gifts.  In this store Italy came alive!  Italian was spoken as a first language and English as a second!  We overheard many stories and interacted with  the people..asked them for their recommendations of things to taste and buy and were treated to many delights that they served up for us to taste.  Stephania did not have her make up on on, but her mom did and allowed a picture.  Here are a few from her store.  On the second shelf, here are some of the nougat candy with almonds that Cece loves that are encased in a tissue paper like thin layer of paper candy.

After many samples, many purchases and much merriment and laughter, off the sisters went to their favorite store Teitels.  This is a large grocery/deli that has every Italian cheese, sausage, and salami you could ever want.   Sissy said, “Let’s hurry.  The store is empty!”  Cece looked and saw about 12 people in the store.  It did not look empty to her.  Sissy said,. “Just wait”  Minutes later, after waiting on a long line, Sissy commanded, “Look behind you now.”  Cece looked back and saw 50+ people in line behind them with people overflowing out the door onto the sidewalk.  Wow!  She could not believe it.  People were packed in like sardines.

Speaking of sardines, this log of fresh sardines was right under their noses…which made Sissy want to gag, and Cece in her heaven.  Guess Which sister loves sardines?  And yes, she had them later on her pizza at Moons!

But truth be told, everything was right under their  noses.  The meat slicing machine was about  3 inches under their noses, so when a butcher sliced Prosciutto Di Parma or salami it wafted under their noses.  If they said, “Oh that smells so good.”  they were immediately served a slice , even if it was someone else’s order!  This is Little Italy!  A foodies’ delight!

Next stop?  Casa Della  Mozzarella!  Home made mozzarella made to order.  It never sits waiting in a refrigerated case.  Cece asked to watch it being made…even though there was a long line, she  was invited into the back to watch the man’s process.  After this ball stage, he breaks off little pieces, pulls it and turn it into a little knot.

Here , Sissy was happy because she loves the homemade mozzarella!  She had great plans for these little twists!

And then finally they went into The Madonia Bros. Bakery.  When they entered, they saw an 911 American flag hanging behind the counter.  This set the tone for what was to come.Sissy got a delicious olive loaf here and some biscotti and a large soft pretzel.  Cece noticed that many young women were having coffee,  eating a biscotti and chit chatting in a corner.  They were out for their daily shopping and stopped to chit chat with friends they met along the way, grocery bags in hand.

Wherever they went that day, Cece saw firetrucks parked along the street.  Once in the stores, she saw many fire men in uniform doing their daily or weekly shopping on Arthur Avenue.  After 911 and the most recent Super Storm Sandy, Firemen have been revered, and rightly so.  They are on duty as they shop and a whole fire truck of men comes into the shop, radios blaring ,and carrying heavy equipment around their bodies.   The people in line invite them forward and when they get forward, they are waited upon immediately.  Cece observed the respect that was paid to them.  Store after store, as they put in their orders, the people behind the counter in the stores would ask, “Is this for the  house?”  If they said yes, the counter person said, “ok.  Just give me id="mce_marker"0.00″  It was clear that this was a deeply discounted price off what would have regularly been paid.  But this is a way, that the shop owners continue saying their thanks for all the work and lives they lost …and saved …on these perilous days in New York.

“Bye for Now” From the Two Whos



Cece-one of The Two Whos

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