the usual plan for a visit or move to a new city is research. you look up what the town is about, sites you want to see, areas that might peak your interest. but not me . nope i just moved to this city with really no knowledge other than what the house looked like that we bought.
our first two weeks were spent downtown going to the same park and the same grocery store. no real site seeing happened. we took one trip to westmount for the bank - only one open on saturday - and saw the nice area but most our time was spent soaking each other in and anticipating daddy's return from work every night.
then we moved to the country. life settled out here and the downtown city was a distant memory. a trip or two were taken in to show visitors and to go to the airport. work for the husband intensified and we were to drive into the city to get him to and fro when the train schedule was less than helpful, which everything in this province seems to be. and that's when i first laid eyes on this place. Milano. the italian grocery store. heaven. i was now planning my visit in correspondence with a city visit but of course after making such a plan it had yet to happen. of course work slowed down and the need for the city drifted away. the plan was there but my cheap bone was showing in that i didn't want to pay for the gas just to do that.
then last weekend we had to go into the city to go to the doctor for coop - health care here is awful, another post for another day - and pounced at the chance to go to Milano, another plus for this was it was just coop and me which is a lot easier than if it were the whole group.
we arrived, parked and entered. lovely. fabulous. overwhelming.
it was bustling with sunday shoppers getting their necessities for the week that it was very hard to browse and soak it all in. it is jam packed with all sorts of foods, goods and sweets that it really was hard to take it all in. we navigated through the crowd grabbing what we could while in the tide of the flow. hard to stop and decide. coop was great, he stayed in the cart and managed our purchases. i spent a while in the pasta aisle deciding and ended up with more than we needed. the olive bar was calling my name but was 10 people deep as was the deli. next time i will indulge here but not today.
the olive oil section was amazing but on glancing at the bottles up front and spying a bottle for $34.95 i imagined a trip inside the tiny section with the cart and a four year old was probably not the best decision. also i was afraid at what i might find in there - could there possibly be a bottle for $80 deep inside? could i resist it?
we found the nuts and bulk items. i love that italians take the time to crack a walnut. to peel off the flesh of a almond or chestnut. not like us costconians who buy the biggest bag we can find and hope that there is enough room in the freezer to house these treats as we will not use them up before there essence has escaped them. i could get lost in there. oh the possibilities!
the next station was the produce. the tomato section alone would leave you breathless.
rounding the bend we came to the cheese and fridges & freezers filed with homemade sauce, pastas, cannelloni's, lasagnas and other savory treats. the prices here were a little steep so i decided that these would be for a special night and hoped there would be an excuse soon! we perused the cheese and did make a selection here as we had to come home with some cheese for a before dinner treat. and a little prosciutto as well to wrap around the ripe melon sitting on our kitchen counter begging to be sliced.
they were definitely ready for eater as well with all the beautifully wrapped eggs hanging from the ceilings. it was hard to not reach up and pluck one.very very festive and cheery.
from here we encountered more dried and canned goods and then found our way to the canned tomato section. the canned tomato section. my lord. took up an entire wall. the varieties were astounding. we selected some san marzano tomatoes and were done.
the experience was fun and exhilarating (yes i know this is strange that i get so excited over a grocery experience but that's just how i roll!). as this was not my beloved bosa foods in vancouver and the definitely did not have bosa prices - bosa is the wholesaler as well so i believe for that reason they can offer more rock bottom prices - it still filled the void and i already have my list ready for our next visit.
to celebrate we went home for antipasti - soft cheese, balsamic tomatoes, crunchy flatbread crackers and melon wrapped in prosciutto. and we made a pasta dinner with the yard length spaghetti we found, a classic meat sauce and my version of garlic bread. yum!