Before I moved to Philadelphia from Wisconsin in 2005, friends told me I needed to visit a cheese shop called Di Bruno Bros. in the Italian Market. When I arrived in July, this narrow store with salamis hanging from the ceiling was one of my first stops. Now, the store feels like my home away from home.
One of the most unusual parts of working in the food industry is acknowledging obscure food holidays. April, for instance, is "National Grilled Cheese Month." There are certainly other important dates in April (Easter, my anniversary and my birthday, to name a few), but we will be putting time aside to celebrate melted cheese on toast.
Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to stick around Di Bruno Bros. on 9th Street for an after hours party. It’s what the store likes to call “a private shopping experience” – a chance for customers to linger around the olive bins, eating pairings that cheesemongers dream up.
Enjoy a special discount on tickets for Di Bruno’s friends & family and celebrate artisan food in Philly! This year is the 8th annual production of The Brewer’s Plate, a one-of-a-kind tasting event that pairs craft beers with local gourmet foods.
It’s the year of the goat. Everywhere I turn: goat dinners, goat tacos, goat talk. This means I should let you in on a little secret about Leonora. It’s the most luscious Spanish goat cheese on the planet. The texture is gooey-soft, and it comes in a slightly flattened brick that looks like a melting ice cream cake roll. If you’ve sworn off sweets for Lent, you might want to pick up some Leonora for dessert.
I never grew up eating Pecorino, but this winter it’s become my go-to cheese to serve with soups. The nutty flavor of this quintessential Italian specialty comes from sheep’s milk, and because it’s a rich, fatty cheese a few curls shaved onto a broth add beautiful dimension.
As far as I’m concerned, cheese and coffee make up their own food groups. The dynamic flavors and chemistries attainable by both of these items allow for thousands of different possibilities. I’ve had a long-term relationship with coffee for a few years now, while cheese is a slightly newer affair (luckily coffee hadn’t caught wind of it). Leading up to this past weekend, I decided it was time to introduce coffee to my mistress.
9th Street cheesemonger Mark Bomalaski and VP of Culinary Pioneering Emilio Mignucci make a goat cheese pizza using Caprichio de Cabra (Spanish goat cheese), Pantaleo (Sardinian goat cheese), kalamata olives, and arugula.