The man beside me in line at Pasta & Provisions was waiting to get some basket cheese, which he needed for Easter Pie. A soft cow cheese which got its name from the container, basket cheese looks like ricotta but tastes more like mozzarella. This is a spring cheese made with the first milk after the first green grass and has a short shelf life.
Where to find it: Italian Specialty Items
Pasta & Provisions, 1528 Providence Road (704-364-2622), offers (by order) such seasonal specialty foods all year. In stock, though, they have such items as half pounds of Parmigiano Reggiano butter, a delicate unsalted butter made from the leftover cream from the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese process in Italy's Parma region. Most customers buy their homemade pastas and 24-month-aged Prosciutto di Parma ($23.95/lb.), which is sliced to order. Other popular meats include locally made Italian sausages from Ferrucci's in Cornelius and Giacomo's in Greensboro. Giacomo's also produces whole dry-aged salamis, and pepperoni and sopressata, both of which can be sliced to order.
Looking for a food you can't find? Or do you know of other food items unique to the QC? Whether it's regional foods or international, talk to me: email@example.com or 704-522-8334, ext 136.