Words by Pat Eggleton

This week we are taking you on a food shopping tour to some of Italy’s less visited locations. Again, we are concentrating on speciality foods of the type you might want to take home with you. We’ll tell you about markets in a separate article. All aboard? Let’s go!

1. Parma [Emilia-Romagna]

Antica Salumeria Farini, strada Farini, 57/A, 43100, Parma [3.88 km from city centre].
If Parma is the home of Italian cured meats, the Antica Salumeria Farini is where traditional methods of preparing them are preserved. Here you will find the best of Parma’s cheeses such as parmigiano reggiano and pork products including culatello di Zibello [a ham], the rare “spalla cotta” [cooked pork shoulder, bone-in] and, of course, Parma ham. This shop is closed on Thursday afternoons.

2. Padua [Veneto]

Antica Drogheria Ai Due Catini d’Oro, Piazza della Frutta, 46, 35122, Padova.
Registered by Giovanni Dal Zio in 1841, this treasure trove of spices is probably even older. Certainly, we know that there was a spice shop in the area by 1775. The shop takes its current name from the scales that Giovanni Dal Zio used to weigh out his products carefully and correctly.
The shop stocks 15,000 products, including spices, ingredients for the making of liqueurs at home, candied fruit and international food products.

3. Cremona [Lombardy]

Sperlari, Via Solferino, 25, Cremona.
Established in 1836, the Sperlari shop became a supplier to the Queen Mother Margherita of Savoy in 1921 and to Umberto, Prince of Piedmont in 1929. It was the first shop in the Province of Cremona to be granted a commercial licence [in 1935]. Here you will find Cremonese specialities such as almond-based desserts, cotognata [quince paste] and, of course, the famous Mostarda di Cremona [mustard fruits]. All products are made without preservatives and to traditional Cremonese methods.
The shop ships abroad. [website]

4. Lucca [Tuscany]

Gastronomia Giurlandi, Via Fillungo, 241, 55100, Lucca.
This family-owned store in the walled city’s main shopping street was rebuilt in 1998 to resemble an old shop in keeping with its surroundings. The store stocks local specialities such as buccellato [a round cake containing raisins and aniseed] and castagnaccio [a cake made with chestnut flour]. Lucca is, of course, famous for its olive oil so don’t forget to buy some if you are able to carry it home.

5. Filattiera, between Pontremoli and Scorcetoli [Tuscany]

Naturalmente Lunigiana, Località Pala de Scorcetoli, Filattiera, Massa-Carrara.
This shop stocks the produce of a local farm, including cheese, salumi, and dop honeys. The 7 human beings who staff it are ably assisted, according to the website, by 4 donkeys, 100 rabbits, 200 chickens, 4 dogs and a cat, among other helpers. How could you be nearby and not be attracted by that? We would like to thank [http://italytutto.com/] italytutto blog for pointing this one out. [website]

6. Orvieto [Umbria]

Dai Fratelli, via del Duomo 11, 05018, Orvieto.
The brothers in question are Emilio and Filippo Batalocco and each hunting season they personally hunt the boars whose meat they will cure for sale in their shop as sausages or salame. The brothers also sell a large range of cheeses, hams and white truffle products.

7. Monterosso [Liguria]

Enoteca Internazionale, Via Roma n° 62, 19016, Monterosso al Mare.
We had to include this wine shop, which is the oldest in Monterosso. It offers tastings [bookable on the website] of fine wines from the Cinque Terre accompanied by various bruschette, cheeses, cold cuts and traditional desserts. [website]

8. Erice [Sicily]

Pasticceria Grammatico, Via Vittorio Emanuele, 14, 91016, Erice [TP].
Born in 1940, Maria Grammatico was brought up in the San Carlo Convent in Erice and there she learned from the nuns the skills of making the sweets and pastries that they sold in order to survive. Later she opened her shops and she still manages and works in them today. Here you can buy all the traditional pastries of Sicily including typical Erice products made from almond paste. [website]

Please remember that many food shops in Italy close on Wednesday afternoons.

We hope you have enjoyed our food tour.