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Jun 15, 2011 08:08 AM

NY/Northeastern pantry run--suggestions?

I'm from Indiana and visiting friends in the Fishkill/Poughkeepsie area (just upstate from NYC). Will drive home soon and want to pack the trunk with some regional foods that are hard to find in Indiana. Right offhand, all I know is that I'll buy a case or two of Tuttorosso tomatoes, which are not available outside the New York area. I could arrange to get a cooler if some chilled transport is required. (The drive is 11 hours.)

Note: I didn't post this in a New York forum, because my concern is home cooking, and also I'm pretty sure most people in the NY area aren't clear about what's unavailable elsewhere. I bet the best responses will come from expat Northeasterners who know what they miss having on hand.

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  1. You can find Tuttorosso in places outside of New York, but by all means bring some back.

    If you will be in NYC hit up Zabar's and Fairway and possibly even Dean and Deluca and Eataly. The list is pretty endless: kaffir lime leaves, farro, great vinegars and oils, cheeses, italian tuna, european butters, unusual produce ...

    I don't know how close you live to Chicago where you probably can find a lot of this stuff, but if you live farther south, who knows.

    Fun places to browse, anyway.

    1 Reply
    1. re: C. Hamster

      Unfortunately, I won't be in NYC at all. Some I'm targeting more mundane goodies.

      I did add Boar's Head hot dogs in natural casing to my list. Boar's Head is available in Indiana, but nobody stocks the natural casing type.

      Also, I notice that even the mass-market items--like De Cecco pasta--are significantly cheaper here.

    2. I like Zweigle's white hots and red hots a lot better than the Boar's Head stuff. Scrapple is also good around these parts, unless you live in the Amish parts of Indiana.

      1. Just my opinion, but I do not find Tuttorosso tomatoes to anything exceptional, either the blue or green can. In Northern New Jersey, La Fede, Cento, Pastene and Pope products I find make much better red sauce..

        Thumann's also makes a good hot dogs. Black Bear is a brand made by Dietz & Watson. Shickhaus and Shalen's also make very good products as well.

        Is Taylor Ham brand pork roll available to you?

        2 Replies
        1. re: fourunder

          Thanks everyone. I actually plan to get a sample or two of many canned tomatoes, and if I find some I especially like, I'll have my NY friends stock up for my next visit.

          To answer fourunder: I don't know Taylor hams, and was even unsure what a pork roll is until I went to Google it just now. I'll keep an eye out. Do people cook it like spam or a ham steak?

          1. re: Bada Bing

            Taylor Ham, egg and cheese on a hard roll is considered the official breakfast sandwich by many in the State of New Jersey. Taylor Ham & Cheese and a Hamburger topped with Taylor Ham are also popular favorites.

            Generally, you either slice thick or thin depending on your preference. You need to slice into the roll so it does not curl as much when you pan fry it up. Personally, I like to make four small cuts opposite each other(.5-1.0 inch), but some like to put one slit to the center on a breakfast plate with eggs, three thick slices or six thin ones usually adorn the plate.

            Taylor Ham also makes a milder version under the name of Trenton Pork Roll. There is a company called Case that makes a spicy and mild version. Hatifield is another brand, but it is not recommended by me.

            You can purchase under store brand names, or the brands mentioned above, in Pre-Sliced packs, 4 count Thick or 8 count Thin. It also comes in small tube/rolls similar to Salami or Bologna in 16 ounce packaging.

          1. re: mrsbuffer

            Why didn't I think of that?! I've just driven home today and it's too late. Truly, a good bagel is hard to find in the Midwest. I know one local source which gets them from Chicago, so they're not super fresh but acceptable, and the real thing.

          2. With thanks to everyone, I'll note that I'm home now, so future postings should be for the sake of the thread topic (which will be of lasting interest to me and some others, I bet).

            I ended up coming home with two brands of hot dogs in natural casings (Boar's Head, Black Bear) and numerous brands of canned tomatoes, including Luigi Vitelli, two or three varieties each of Cento and Tuttorosso, some Pomi boxes, and lots of De Cecco pasta. (A few of these things are gettable in Indiana, but at about 50% higher cost.)

            I'm primed for some tasting parties this summer.