Saturday, June 02, 2007

My New Addiction: Roma Importing Co.

Roma Foods Importing Company is in Latham in Cobbee Road, in the shadow of the Price Chopper plaza. It's one of those great secret places you can live here for years and not know about, because it's on one of those little side streets off Route 9. It's awesome and you must go, now and again! I didn't have my camera with me, but here's a pic of the booty:

If you want to skip reading this blog and just go there to get delicious food here is their info:

Roma Foods
9 Cobbee Rd., Latham
tel. 785-7480
hours: M- Th and Sat: 9-6
Friday: 9-7
Sunday: closed

There is also a location in Saratoga.

Although they are a deli, there is a whole separate meats shop next door, and "deli" doesn't even begin to explain the nummyness here. (It will take a meat eater to go there and report on their salamis, but they looked really, really good. They also had things like chicken sausage and whole turkey).

There is an entire aisle of different kinds of pastas: imported types from Italy, Farro pastas, and all different shapes and sizes. There is a frozen foods section with raviolis (plain as well as things like lobster ravioli), and spinach pies that looked wonderful. They have those homemade Italian lemon cookies with icing. Sauces galore, both Italian and salsas (I got a bottle of mango salsa). Greek tarama and taramosalata. Relishes, every size and shape of caper you could possibly want in large or small bottles, about a dozen types of olives in their deli section (plus others in jars). There are hard-to-find baking ingredients like marzipan and chestnuts. There are chocolates, panettone, biscottis, Italian cookies (the typical American kinds that are outlandishly colored pink and green and such, in a glass case) and a whole selection of packaged taralli, those heavenly little donut-shaped Italian crackers I became obsessed with two years ago after finding them at the Italian festival in Schenectady.

I bought the anise kind (for dessert) and the fennel kind (for snacking). They are dangerously addictive!

You can easily pick up dinner there, and the prices are very reasonable. I got the chef Paul caponata, which is just bursting with big juicy capers, olives, and pine nuts. The grilled eggplant and zucchini weren't as good, but still, who's complaining-- that you can *get* these things in Latham is a major achievement. I got a large jar of Maille dijon mustard for just $3.99, and a large jar of red peppers for just $3.49. I got a gorgeous bottle of unfiltered olive oil (the real thing, with smoky green olive sedimentation) for just $16.95 for a whole liter, where that would easily cost me $35 or $40 anywhere else.

The people who work there are efficient and friendly, and the woman behind the deli counter cut in half a big ball of fresh cow's milk (fior di latte type-- the kind in water) mozzarella* for me to take home. It's the best buffalo mozarella I've found around here. They had these intriguing antique wooden bins of salted chickpeas that are a snack I'd never seen before. They had bags of black melon seeds (also a snack). They have reassuringly large glass jars of spices (beyond cinnamon-- things like sumac) so you can get as much as you need (not like those stingy little dank pricey plastic or glass bottles at the supermarket).

They also do catering and parties.

I was so excited when I left that I forgot entirely why I was out on Route 9 anyway and had to backtrack to do my errands. I'm planning on becoming a regular at Roma's.

*Note that "buffalo mozzarella" technically means the kind made from actual buffalo milk: read the comments for more info. I often use "buffalo mozzarella" just to refer generically to "mozzarella in water" but usually the kind in the US is made from cow's milk.