>> Thursday, June 21, 2012
Price: $9 per panini
Location: 7441a Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
The Quick Bit
+ high quality product selection
+ extensive selection of hard to find rare ingredients
+ high quality imported goods
+ friendly service
+ fresh made flavored pasta
Δ customers may not realize the quality of product they are purchasing
Δ could be greater number of items on sale
I've covered Ariccia Italian Market in the past, but last week marked the soft opening of the market. It is to be followed up with a Grand Opening in the coming weeks, but the market is off to a nice start as they try to figure things out and get things going.
I first attended a pre-opening party where many of the products sold were on display for sampling and then followed up by visiting on the actual opening day where I tried a famous porchetta panini and bought some fresh made pasta.
The porchetta was available for sampling. The crispy skin was a very nice contrast to the moist flavorful pork center. Ariccia is named after the city that produces porchetta in Italy, so it is only fitting that they serve a great porchetta.
This was actually the first time I've had iberico directly off the leg. It had a very nice and deep flavor that contained a lot of umami along with rich pork flavor.
|selection of cheeses|
|left to right - candied hazelnuts, candied walnuts, valencia almonds|
I really enjoyed the nut selection. Aside from the large ticket meat items, the almonds were perhaps my favorite item available for sampling.
|berkshire pork sopressata|
|venison and berkshire pork salami|
|black truffle and berkshire pork salami|
|berkshire pork salami|
The selection of salumi was a very nice spread. My favorite of the bunch was the duck prosciutto, but the black truffle berkshire pork salami was a close second. The duck prosciutto contained a real depth of duck flavor and the fat from the duck really enhanced the flavors of the meat.
|foie gras torchon|
With such a large stock of foie gras, it appears that Ariccia will be selling the product right up until the impending ban. The quality of the torchon was very nice as there was a nice crunchy crust to the outside.
Products at Ariccia
I took the opportunity to snap ome shots of the products I found more interesting at a quick glance
Of course there were some fresh pastas on sale including the beer pretzel pasta that I sampled earlier.
I ended up taking some of the squid ink pasta home and creating my own dish with it:
I used a preparation with only a light sauce so that the flavor of the squid ink would come through. I succeeded in my preparation and I was extremely happy with the pasta. I definitely recommend the flavored fresh pastas. And don't be afraid to ask for recipe recommendations using the pastas as the owners are well versed in several tasty preparations of the product.
In Spain, the preserved seafood actually sells for more than fresh seafood. The preservation process is of high quality and the process of preserving the seafood actually marinates the flavors and allows them to shine even more. I was excited to see that Ariccia was carrying some of this product.
|porchetta panini - ciabatta, grilled onions, arugula, porchetta|
The porchetta panini was a simple preparation of fresh ingredients. The flavors really came through and the sandwich was extremely enjoyable. Further - the size of the sandwich was enormous and I was more than full after just eating the sandwich.
Ariccia Italian Market is off to a great start - carrying a large selection of high quality gourmet ingredients. Even more, it is a great place to stop by for a panini during lunch or pastry and coffee in the mornings. I really look forward to seeing how the store evolves over time and will be making several visits myself for all those special dinners.