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Saturday, November 21, 2009

More than just a deli

One of my favorite aspects of city living is having an abundance of small grocers (and specialty food shops) as close (or closer) than super-stores.  Conte Di Savoia, an Italian deli on Taylor Street, has been the grocer of choice for my Italian side practically since my great-grandparents landed in the US.

Conte Di Savoia is one of those magical places that is much bigger on the inside than it appears from the outside.  For instance, they have nearly an entire aisle of imported olive oil:

They also carry specialty ingredients, and Italian treats, like cannoli shells, anise rosettes, lady fingers and Ciao Bella gelato.  And then there's the Italian butter cookies and fine chocolates and biscotti and dried pastas... 

Besides serving up the best Italian subs in Chicago, their deli is stocked with amazing cappocollo, mortadella, pastrami, several kinds of salami and an ever-changing array of imported cheeses.

While all of that certainly makes Conte Di Savoia a destination, what keeps it on my weekly circuit of grocers-to-visit is their store product line of freshly made sauces, filled pastas, and jarred spreads.  Their house lupini are perfect - just the right amount of saltiness.  Their pepper spread is not for the faint of heart (or heat) - I recommend sticking to the medium if you are putting it on a hot dog or beef sandwich  (their hot variety should be reserved as an ingredient for stews, soups and sauces because full-strength could burn a hole in your tongue).  And their sauces... well, I rarely make my own any longer because Conte's are Just. That. Good.

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