Di Brunno Brothers
DBB is a treasure trove of all things Italian and Mediterranean. More Italian than a tipici deli. The produce was just sensationally FRESH. Many made by local artisans, using local ingredients. My eyes and nose were in full dizzy ecstasy. Cheeses, hams, salami, sausages, olives, oils, antipasti, bottles, jars, tins, and the list just goes on. FRESH, so fresh and immaculately stored. This tiny institution joins my Aladdin’s cave list of the foodie world. Zabars, Eataly, Peck, Fortnums, Harrods, Valvona and the likes have serious competition.
Who actually buys this stuff to keep the stock moving….. The reply was instant. Long invoices piled up high on the desk in the rear of the shop. Lists of ingredients all packed into boxes destined for the finest restaurants, hotels, eateries, down town cafes, diners…. that’s who buys. Capisco!
Giving it the thumbs up, Frantoio di Sommaia Extra Virgin Olive Oil, one of my favourite oils is stocked in this tiny little shop. This Tuscan liquid gold came into existence after the Martini family (of vermouth fame) uprooted its grapevines in favour of olive trees.
DBB’s handmade mozzarella, till 3 years ago, was Thomas Keller’s preferred supplier for The French Laundry in California.
They make their own version of Burrata. Three varieties – plain, pesto and truffle. Mozarella curd and cream is filled into a mozzarella shell and wrapped with fresh corn leaves. These bright green hues indicate the freshness of the cheese keeping Italy’s long history before the printed expiry date system we now have on all manufactured food.
Parma style prosciutto is locally produced in Iowa using Berkshire Pork and there is also an acorn fed version.
Olives of all kinds including the Cerignolos and a colourful meli melo are sold. Mostly from California.
Zeke a fellow fisherman is the manager of this DiBrunno. We discussed food, olive oils, fishing and life. I guess, to get rid of me, he threw in some green green extra virgin oil oil for me to dunk my freshly baked bread, still warm, by Faragalli (on 13th and Reed) in wood fired brick ovens. Thank you, Zeke.
On that note, I raced back to the hotel with my stash.