“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Marketing Italian Style: Iavarone Brothers

Ciao lovely readers!! I am so sorry for being away, but between my computer not having service due to technical issues and being on vacation the past few weeks, it was pretty hectic and unfortunately, I was not able to continue with my blogging. But all is well and I’m back now!

As I mentioned, I’ve been away on vacation and just got back yesterday. So what was one of the first things I wanted to do this weekend? Why, market of course! Now, I am still pretty tired from the past few weeks. You know how they say you need a vacation from your vacation; I believe it to be true!

I knew I wanted a nice quiet weekend at home with some warm, cozy meals. So, instead of making an entirely homemade meal (please don’t be mad!) I decided to do the next best thing: go shopping at Iavarone Brothers.

Iavarone Brothers is truly a family run business and will hopefully keep part of its old world charm and stay that way. The store first opened its doors in Brooklyn in 1919 as the first Salciceria (sausage shop) run by Pasquale Iavarone. By 1951, Pasquale's sons, Joe and Jerry, took over. In the early seventies, a new generation, Pat and John, opened new stores and continued with the legacy. Several years later, their brother Joseph Jr. came into the family business. Now here’s the thing. Iavarone has four locations, all in New York. But….you can order online!!! Here is a link to the site: http://www.ibfoods.com/ Now you too can order some of the delicacies I’m about to tell you about!!

Iavarone Brothers is a wonderful store specializing in; you guessed it, Italian food! All homemade. You enter the store and you’re not sure where to start first. There is a section with fresh, crusty, fragrant bread. One full counter devoted to prepared specialties that vary from day to day, you will find chicken and eggplant parmigiana, fried vegetables, lasagna, stuffed shells.

Another part of the counter has different salads, pasta salads, olives, vegetables in vinegar, fish salads. There is a section full of fresh cheese and pesto. Another section with fresh pasta. The pasta selection is amazing. They have some of the most amazing homemade ravioli I have ever had and they offer a huge selection of different fillings; meat ravioli, spinach ravioli, lobster ravioli, truffle ravioli, mushroom ravioli. They of course have other pastas besides ravioli; gnocchi, cavatelli, tortellini, fettuccini. They have shelves filled with jarred peppers and vegetables in vinegar.
There is the butcher with house made sausages, steak, burgers, chicken cutlets and a section full of fresh fish. The selection is endless. If you are craving something Italian, odds are, at Iavarone, you will find it! On top of it, the service is wonderful. Friendly, patient and helpful.

Now, I know you’re wondering, what did I get? Well, the question is, what didn’t I get? Fresh mozzarella, ricotta salata, parmigiana, jarred peppers, olives, tomatoes, sausage, eggplant parmigiana, meatballs, roasted Italian pork, taralles, fried vegetables, pesto, bread and ravioli. The beauty of this shop is that nothing needs to be done to spice this food up. If you are getting already prepared specialties, you will just want to warm them and enjoy! The only thing that I ordered that had to be prepared was the ravioli, which I made with some of the fresh tomatoes I purchased and some garlic. You will not be disappointed in the quality. Best. Raviolis. Ever.

The mozzarella is moist and buttery. The meatballs were tender and light. The fried vegetables crispy, not at all oily. The eggplant parmigiana was perfect. I find that eggplant parmigiana can be difficult. It can be too soggy and mushy to the point that you can’t even tell that you’re eating eggplant. But not at Iavarone. The eggplant is perfectly cooked, crisp, but not too crunchy like a cutlet, and layered with mozzarella and tomato sauce. The bread was delicious with a sesame crust. Perfect when dipped in some of the extra sauce from the meatballs. If you live in the New York area, I highly encourage you to hop on the train, bus, car, anything, so you can try some of this amazing food! If not, they have a site, so don’t feel too bad.

Christopher, Jonathan and Michele Iavarone are now the fourth generation to enter the family business and carry on eighty years of tradition. Here’s to eighty more! Cin Cin!

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