Monday, July 16, 2012


I went to Philadelphia and believe it or not I did not have a pretzel or Philly Cheese Steak.  After a comfortable Amtrak trip, that seemed shorter than expected, I was escorted to an area known as the Italian Market.  During certain hours, the wares are presented as you pass down the streets, the location of which is mostly South 9th Street.  In fact if you go to the website of you'll get the inside scoop.

While planning my trip I spoke with a member of the American-Italy Society after viewing this information on their website. "It was 1956 when a violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the new Italian consul general discovered a mutual love of 18th century Italian chamber music, and from their impulse to share Italian music and culture, the America-Italy Society was born.
"Today, the Society, located at 1420 Walnut Street in Center City, has 750 members and a broad range of activities. Still at its core is the free concert series of the Amerita Chamber Players, all of whom are members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and an extensive Italian language program.
"In a little more than fifty years, the America-Italy Society of Philadelphia has established itself as a center for all who thrive on the beauty of the Italian language and derive inspiration from Italian arts and culture."
Food time!  My first tasting was at DAnglelo Brothers where they specialize in game meats all of which are farm raises and hormone free.  Sonny DAngelo invited me for a tasting of a variety of prosciutos and salamis made with ingredients such as boar, duck, and venison. 

On to cheeses. There were two places and totally different. Unfortunately I only had time for one and not the one I have a photo of the outside of...Di Bruno Bros.  It was Claudio's King of Cheese where I did a tasting of many imported Italian cheeses.  With lots imported groceries as well, I passed on them so as not to load me down for my return ride to NYC.  Not only did I sample fresh mozzarella but one that was made with black truffles.

It's dessert time so I'm off to Isgro Pastries, located off of 9th on Christian Street.  They have been in business since 1904.   Sfogliatella was my first pick. I love the combination of crunchiness and cheese.  One of my "tests" in a cannoli.  This one was different as it has mascarpone  and ricotta cheese instead of just ricotta cheese.  I'm told it is what they use for their tiramisu.  Quite creamy and a great idea.  Noshed a few almond cookies as well.

Lastly was my indulgence in gelato as Capogiro at 119 South 13th Street near my hotel.  I really did a tasting there.  The best combination for me was a dark chocolate sorbet paired with a hazelnut gelato.  Wow, was that awesome.  It turned out that another customer loved the same combo.

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