Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fresh From The Bronx!

...At least that is what the sign said in front of J and G, the Italian deli and market I walked into last week. A statement like that can conjure up a multitude of images. Most New Yorkers know that it's code for crunchy Italian breads, pastries and meats.

Truth be told, I had my doubts about whether this specialty shop could deliver on its promise. One great fear of moving out of the City to just outside of the City was losing easy access to ethnic food. So far, I have been pleasantly surprised.

J and G is in the Chester Heights area of Eastchester/Bronxville. They have got a good guido vibe going on in there. One wall is essentially a tribute to Italian bread. You then wander through a series of tables displaying pyramids made of boxes and bags of semolina pasta of every shape and size. There are many anti pasta items, cheeses and a deli counter that appears to have a heavy cult following.

But what you MUST buy is not in hidden in the pyramids, glass cases or even between two pieces of bread.

There is a small worn out handwritten sign, no bigger than a large index card with "Homemade Sauce $5.99 qt." scribbled across it.

And that my friends, is the reason you go back again and again.

Growing up with an Italian mother and grandmother, tomato sauce is about as personal as breast milk. This is the first time I've ever tasted a sauce that came so incredibly close to hitting the same emotional buttons as the sauce I grew up with.

So I bought six quarts and stuck'em in my freezer. A comforting reserve for those days when I just cannot cope with the thought of making dinner for my family after a grueling day at work.

Nothing like opening a container of instant Italian grandma to sooth a tired soul.