I spent Saturday in an only slightly traumatic bridal gown hunt in North York’s Retail Outlet Alley on Orfus Road – not for myself but for a bride to be come June of 2008. As an act of retaliation we stopped into The Grande Cheese Factory Outlet and, Hark! The payday fairies graced me with a meager sum to spend on gastronomical idolatry of the primarily Italian Epicurean variety.
I was a good girl, though, and only came back with a few token items which are difficult to find in this fair city:
1. Pickled hot peppers. I almost went for the cheese filled ones but decided on these for their pizza adornment potential.
2. An olive oil and herb infusion for gussying up red sauces.
3. A grilling marinade for my favourite meats: eggplant and mushrooms.
4. Fig jam…with double creme brie on baguette? Need I say more?
5. Smoked provolone. I almost bought a whole round of this.
6. Hot sopressata calabrese. Though this stuff is a wonderful antipasto, I plan to experiment with its nutmeg and cinnamon flavours in a very inauthentic carbonara-esque sauce over the used-to-be-fresh pasta sitting in our freezer right now.
7. Balkan-style pistachio halva. By far the best candy in the world. I may have to hide it from the kids for a while.
I also came back with cheap gnocchi and a kilo of feta (which I’ll split with my shopping partners). I truly wish I had taken the camera to give you a glimpse of the variety of items in stock there – everything from bulk taralli to truffle oil. I fully intend to make the trip back to North York before Christmas so I may stuff my trademark goodie baskets with delights from this place for loved ones.