Flavors From Afar 6712 Snider Plaza 214-696-2327
Try: Conte Pucci Della Genga extra virgin olive oil (now 50 percent off) Don't try: leaving without taste-testing something
We were out of extra virgin olive oil. (No, I don't mean E.V.O.O. I will never abbreviate that shit. You say, "E.V.O.O.," I deliver nut punch. I'm not kidding. Rachael Ray's weird name spelling in addition to her weird adolescent girl boobies and her penchant for abbreviations freaks me the hell out.) Anyway, I was in the mood to make some pasta for dinner, so I decided that instead of hitting up the Kroger, I'd go on a quest for something a little fancier.
So I hit up Flavors From Afar in Snider Plaza. It's a little shop packed with pastas, pestos, oils and other delicious stuff directly from Italy, Spain, France, Greece and even little old Texas. When you walk into this place, with all the beautiful china and platters everywhere, you immediately feel a sense of, "Don't touch. It's expensive here." But as soon as the nice man behind the counter, Pete, greeted me, I felt right at home.
Turns out, Pete makes the gorgeous cutting boards and rolling pins that the store sells. His craftsmanship is amazing. I immediately put one of these rolling pins on my Wants It list. If I had one of these beauties, I'd bake all the time. I'd rolling pin everything. "Chop tomatoes? Why, when I can rolling pin them so much more stylishly?" They say you can't put a price on happiness, but Pete did. And it's high. But totally worth it.
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I told Pete I was looking for a nice olive oil. He took me to their wall of oils and balsamic vinegars, and when I asked him what his favorite was, he said, "It's hard to say, because nice olive oil is like wine: It's all about personal preference. You like what you like, ya know?" But he did direct me to the Conte Pucci Della Genga, which he finds to be a delicious extra virgin olive oil that the shop usually sells for $30 a bottle, but right now is selling for half price. You're speakin' my language, Pete. It's from the "noble Della Genga family in Umbria" and the olives are picked by hand, cold-pressed and certified organic in Italy. I drooled as Pete poured some into a bottle for me from the giant vat of Conte Pucci Della Genga they have sitting on the shelf. They say it is "made from Moraiolo, Frantoio and Leccino olives" and that it has a "big, round mouth feel." I say that it's effin' phenomenal with a little fresh ground pepper and a giant hunk of ciabatta. If I were you, I'd get there and get yourself some half-price heaven in a bottle before they run out. And if you're like, "Whoa -- not sure I wanna pay an arm and a leg for some crazy olive oil I've never tried before," they're more than happy to let you taste test.
I also picked up some La Piana mini ravioli with squash filling for 25 percent off. Made some of it last night, and it was so good, I wolfed down all 16 ounces in about 30 seconds. It's filled with squash, Parmesan cheese and perfection. Drizzle some melted butter on these bad boys and your life will be so changed that you'll never eat Velveeta shells and cheese again. For real.
The Basket: Conte Pucci Della Genga extra virgin olive oil, La Piana ravioli with squash filling