Toni Lydecker's Tavola Talk Blog

Making Ricotta at Home–Worth the Trouble?

Homemade ricotta had been on my “to do” list for awhile. Not a big deal: three ingredients and maybe 10 minutes of active attention. So I can’t explain why I didn’t get around to it. But one fine afternoon…ricotta making rose to the top of the list. Ricotta means “recooked” and for a cheese maker, [...]

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Fri, November 6 2015 » Eggs and Cheese, Italian delis, Italian food, Italian ingredients, Tampa Bay, Uncategorized » No Comments

What to Do with that Panettone

This is the time of year when Italian delis and e-commerce sites showcase those imposingly tall boxes, each one housing the dome-shaped sweet Christmas bread called panettone. There’s a good chance you’ll receive a panettone as a gift or, beguiled by the sheer size of the box, sweep one into your shopping cart. Then what? [...]

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Fri, December 12 2014 » Baked Goods and Sweets, holiday foods, Italian delis, Italian food, Italian ingredients, Italian lifestyle, Tampa Bay, Uncategorized » No Comments

NYC: Rethinking the Italian Neighborhood Grocery

Looking for Louis Coluccio’s new store in Bay Ridge,  we spotted “Italian Grocery” in old-fashioned stenciling on the brick storefront.  ”Are you sure that’s it?” asked my son-in-law. But even from a moving car, I had also seen A.L.C.’s stylish round logo. The Coluccio family is into its third generation as Brooklyn grocers and importers [...]

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Fri, April 26 2013 » Eggs and Cheese, Italian delis, Italian food, Italian ingredients, Uncategorized » No Comments

Cuban Sandwich Wars: Tampa vs. Miami

Giving new meaning to the term “pork barrel politics,” the Tampa City Council threw down the gauntlet with a resolution declaring the Cuban sandwich its signature sandwich. Miami fired back indignantly, insisting that its version is the authentic one. In an NPR survey, Tampa won handily as the Cuban’s first city, with 57% of the vote [...]

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Tue, May 1 2012 » Italian delis, Italian food, Italian lifestyle, Meat » No Comments

Tampa Bay: Shopping for Italian Ingredients

I still miss my fish market on Arthur Avenue and my neighborhood grocery’s fresh mozzarella but I was relieved to find, on moving to Florida, that New York doesn’t have a lock on Italian ingredients. Mazzaro’s, a large store in St. Petersburg with a carnival-like ambience, quickly became my go-to place for the basics. Here [...]

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Tue, October 18 2011 » Italian delis, Tampa Bay » No Comments