DLM Food Explorer Viva Italia

On my first trip to Italy some years ago, I was surprised to learn that Tuscans largely ignore balsamic vinegar, and Milanese favor rice over pasta. And right in between Milan and Tuscany you find many recognizable delicacies from lasagna to Prosciutto di Parma to balsamic vinegar in the region of Reggio Emilia. Hazelnuts are a big deal in the north and hot peppers in the south.

You learn that when speaking of Italy’s great food culture, it’s impossible to describe it without putting it in a regional context. Maybe it’s the Italian connection to the land, a long culinary history, or simply local pride. In any case, discovering the regional foods of Italy is both educational and incredibly fun. Over the years, so many of us at DLM have traveled to Italy to discover its food treasures, and we’ve made it a point to bring a number of those back to you.

You see Italy’s influence at DLM in the Italian products themselves, like our Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil hailing from the hills of Tuscany or our Parmigiano-Reggiano from Modena. Other times, you’ll find its reach in the form of a technique we’ve learned from studying with Italian masters that we then replicate here, such as our DLM Handmade Mozzarella, Naples-Style Pizza, and Tuscan butcher-inspired specialty prepared meats, to name a few. As you can imagine, we could write a book on our passion for Italian food, but for the purpose of giving some focus, we are spotlighting a few regions of Italy that have inspired us the most: Tuscany, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, and Southern Italy, mainly Calabria and Sicily.

We’ll be celebrating Italy all month culminating with our Food Explorer Day taking place May 18. Join us for great fun and good Italian eating on our next stop as Food Explorers…buon appetito!

TUSCANY

FOOD

Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (GROCERY), Pane Toscano (BAKERY), Pecorino Toscano (THE DLM CHEESE SHOP), Italian Oven-Ready Meats (MEAT)

WINE

CAPPONE CHIANTI CLASSICO – Count Sebastiano Capponi is a dear friend to DLM, hailing from his lovely Tuscan estate that’s been in his family since 1524! This young-vine Chianti is named for the first ancestor of Sebastiano. It’s 100% Sangiovese, brimming with beautiful fruit and richness.

VILLA CALCINAIA CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA – 100% Sangiovese from the best blocks of old vines near Greve in Chianti. It’s a well-structured wine that’s full of rich black fruits, leather, spice, cigar box notes, and supple tannins.

FONTALEONI VERNACCIA DI SAN GIMIGNANO – A wonderfully dry, minerally, and extremely pleasing white wine from the surrounding vineyards of the hilltop town of San Gimignano.

CAMPANIA

FOOD

Naples-Style Pizza (DLM WASHINGTON SQUARE & SPRINGBORO), San Marzano Tomatoes D.O.P. (GROCERY), DLM Handmade Mozzarella (THE DLM CHEESE SHOP)

WINE

COLLI DI LAPIO ROMANO CLELIA FIANO DI AVELLINO – A white wine from the Avellino province and a varietal the Romans called Vitis Apiana, vine beloved of bees. It’s dry, lovely, and has hints of pear and hazelnut, floral tones, and a hint of minerality.

EMILIA-ROMAGNA

FOOD

Prosciutto di Parma (DELI), Mortadella (DELI), DLM Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (GROCERY), Lasagna (GOURMET TAKEAWAY), Parmigiano-Reggiano (THE DLM CHEESE SHOP)

WINE

CASALI ROSA DI ROSA RED SPARKLING WINE – Perfect chilled with a plate of charcuterie enjoyed al fresco with its bright raspberry/blueberry fruit and soft bubbles.

LO DUCA LAMBRUSCO REGGIANO – Lambrusco does not exactly excite most after we’ve suffered so many terrible mass-produced and exported representations of this wine. However, Lo Duca is bright, semi-sweet, and has a naturally carbonated essence. Try it in a cocktail.

SOUTHERN ITALY (CALABRIA + SICILY)

FOOD

Cannoli (BAKERY), DLM Gelato (FROZEN), Scalia Anchovies (GROCERY), Marinated Anchovies (SEAFOOD BAR)

WINE

VILLA POZZI NERO D’AVOLA – The Pozzi family is a fifth-generation winemaking family located on the island of Sicily.

DONNAFUGATA ANTHILIA BIANCO – An amazingly crisp, minerally, and vibrant white wine blend from Sicily that’s perfect for light seafood dishes, salad, or poultry.

 

Calling All Food Explorers!

Come with us. We’re going on a journey to faraway places and it all starts at one of the most humble destinations—your table and the foods that fill it. No bags or pass ports needed, just an appetite for discovery. Taking flight with us this month is our new Food Explorer series, which will feature culinary stops to some of the hottest food regions of the world in the months to come. First destination is France, so get ready to embrace the fromage, the food, and let’s not forget about the wine!

Our inspiration for launching this journey was not a whim. Travel has become an essential fiber of Dorothy Lane Market’s DNA. For many years at DLM, there has been an underlying philosophy woven into the culture: We travel, we taste, and we meet and learn from artisans and masters in their own craft from faraway places. Then, we bring it back to you. “That gives us passion,” says Calvin Mayne, DLM President. “We are bringing you these great experiences from around the world and it makes us happy and gives our work meaning.”

In addition to so many at DLM, Calvin’s love for travel is inspiring and it walks hand in hand with his love for great food of the world. “You see how people live, you taste, you eat … and those memories stay with you forever.” This is why you’ll find the great flavors of the world discovered during travel being brought back to DLM with authenticity and pride. You’ll see this at play when it comes to our Artisan Bread, Naples-Style Pizza, sushi, Italian-style meats, and DLM Handmade Mozzarella, to name a few. You’ll also find products that we’ve sourced from fine makers and artisans lining our shelves, from the robust wine selection to olive oils, cheeses, and cooking sauces.

“Where else do you go to a grocery store where we’ve actually visited the fisherman or where the Bakery director studied with French masters to learn how to make a baguette?” Calvin says, referring to Jack Gridley’s salmon fishing exploration to the brisk waters of Alaska, Scott Fox’s rendezvous with French bakers in Aurillac, France, Todd Templin’s wine adventure to Austria, all the way to more local treasures, like Dennis Chrisman’s trek to the Amish farms in Adams County, Ohio.

With that said, we are ecstatic to celebrate the foods from afar that you’ll find in our stores the year to come! If you’ve traveled to the regions we’ll be featuring, we hope to revive some of those most delicious memories. If you’ve yet to explore the destinations, then let us give you a small taste of what it has to offer.

DLM Dreams of Sushi

If you haven’t seen the film “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” I recommend you do, preferably with a cold beer and a beautiful platter of sushi. A few of us at DLM have had the opportunity to eat sushi at the famous fish market Tsukiji in Japan where Jiro sources his fish, and it really is a lifetime experience. We’ve also had excellent sushi in supermarkets in Japan, such as from our friends the Ishido family of Keihoku Supermarkets. Fortunately, it’s also become commonplace in American supermarkets as our food psyche is eager to embrace foods from around the world. Authentic sushi is an art form and last spring we decided to perfect how we do it at DLM.

It begins with the chef. Given the exact same ingredients, the experience you would have from a sushi master is on a completely different level than from a novice. When you then supply such an expert with gorgeous fish and perfect rice, the results are extraordinary. We have such talent now in our Sushi department, led by the talented Narai and sushi chefs Sun, Roy, Sam, Christine, Chris, and Sara. I marvel at their knife skills and gentle hand in crafting every piece and roll. Thanks to this team, we’re now achieving a level of sushi that we had only once dreamed possible.

In addition to the top talent in our Sushi department, we also are relentless in the sourcing of quality fish, rice, and other ingredients. Our VP of Meat & Seafood and Food Service Jack Gridley finds great fish like no one else I know. He has fishing friends in places like Alaska, Boston, and Scotland, which makes it no surprise that we have such outstanding fish for not only our Seafood department, but for the Sushi department as well.

Indeed, we are proud to offer you a new level of sushi excellence at DLM. Our sushi was very good before. However, now that we’ve upgraded from good supermarket sushi to more like what you would have in a fine sushi restaurant, we think you will notice a big difference. How so? Check out our increased variety, more artistic appearance, and best of all—superior eating experience!

DLM Sushi is so good, we’re attracting many customers of Japanese and Korean origin, the countries with the greatest sushi traditions. I was raised as an Ohio farm boy, yet even I eat our sushi at least two to three times per week as it’s such an easy, healthy pleasure. Our sushi chefs are happy to accommodate your special requests, including eye-popping sushi trays for your next party or a custom roll for your next meal. Give DLM Sushi a try and eat it soon and often. It’s the stuff dreams are made of.