Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stresa: A Friday Foodie Tour

Nowadays there are more and more apartments to rent in Stresa so if you've chosen to self cater you need to know where to buy those Italian foodie treats!

The supermarkets are great for the basics and there is a very good Carrefour in the centre of town as well as out of town hypermarkets, but there's nothing like a mooch around the smaller food stores and the market. You'll find Stresa has a treasure trove of local and seasonal produce to enjoy! So I thought I'd let you know where I enjoy to shop.

Every Friday I set off from home with my trusty shopping trolley for a few regular purchases and also to see what's in season at the market ..... and this is my personal Friday foodie tour of Stresa!

My first stop is Le Fantasie della Pasta fresh pasta shop where sisters, Maristella and Manuela cook up a whole host of tasty treats. If you fancy some tagliatelle or pappardelle or other ribon-type pasta just selct what you'd like from the sample try in the cabinet and they will give you as much as you need, freshly made. On the counter there are trays of plump ravioli with fillings such as meat, spinach and ricotta, gorgonzola and walnut or speck and brie. Not sure how much to ask for? Don't worry, just tell them the amount of people and they'll weigh you out the right amount. Maristella and Manuela also cook up goodies like crespelle or cheesy pancakes, lasagne ready to take home and pop in the oven or sweet treats like strudel, tiramisu and crème caramel.

Further down the road I call in at the local butcher where the Catarinella family, father Donato and son Maurizio, sell a decent choice of veal, beef, pork and poultry as well as their own very long sausages!

The entrance to the market
My next stop is the weekly market which is held in Piazza Capucci on a Friday morning. If you enter the market from Piazza Possi you will go under a short covered area. This is where you will find the artisan stalls. During the summer from about mid-June you will find the Alpe Selviana stall where you can buy organic blueberries, raspberries, honey and jams. If you're lucky there will also be the cheese and salami man (so sorry I don't know his name!) who sells the most wonderful produce from his little stall. Peppery salamis and sausages, fresh ricotta, butter and try before you buy cheeses. Some of the tastiest I've ever had!

Lorenzo, Maria and Giuseppe
Further in, you absolutely have to stop at the fruit and vegetable stall on the right. Twins Lorenzo and Giuseppe, along with their mum, Maria have by far and away the best fruit and veg in Stresa. Quite simply, if it isn't in season and the best quality and taste, they wouldn't feel happy selling it. I always linger longest here as it is about more than just doing the weekly shop. As well as a catch up on how things have gone since the previous week, there's recipes to be shared (most recently tagliatelle with mushrooms that Lorenzo had cooked the night before) and a slice of melon, an apricot or some olives to sample. Originating from Puglia in the south of Italy, they are always proud to highlight the produce available from their own region. The whole family is super friendly, service is with a smile and they will never rush you whilst you decide what you would like: plump red tomatoes, juicy peaches, fresh peas in the pod, crunchy apples or crisp greens! I'm already looking forward to tomorrow as pesche tabacchiere and frigitelle (small sweet peppers) are in season :)

Claudia at the bakery in Piazza Cadorna
After Giuseppe has loaded up my shopping trolley it's off to the bakery in Piazza Cadorna. Claudia has only recently taken over the little shop but is continuing the friendly and efficient service of the previous owner. On a Tuesday and Friday I go to buy pane di segale - hoping I'm early enough so it is still warm! On Fridays there is also bread with raisins, olives or walnuts. Claudia also sells the most enormous chunky grisini which are wonderful with a slice of ham wrapped around!

By now my trolley and shopping bags are usually jam packed with goodies so shopping for store cupboard type ingredients at the local Carrefour supermarket is left for another time. And so my Friday foodie tour of Stresa comes to an end and I head to the office to start my working day.

Below is a map showing all the places I've mentioned.

View Sarah's Friday Foodie Tour in a larger map

Have you got a favourite foodie place in Stresa? Share it with us so we can all go and enjoy!

Sarah, Viaggi Tomassucci


  1. Replies
    1. Dear Mike - you're welcome! I hope you enjoy picking up some foodie treats whilst you're in Stresa. Sarah