Gems | The Italian Store Scarpone’s

Calgary | By Kailash Maharaj
November 10, 2009

The many offerings at The Italian store including bottled olives and pesto (left); Cannoli pastry ready for filling (top, right); cheeses straight from Europe (below, right). Photography by K&S Media

Lunch at Scarpones, lasagne (left); all the varieties of olive oil (top, right); preserved fish (below, right). Photography K&S Media.Mike from Scarpones. The variety of pasta. Sausages in a row. Photography K&S Media

Mike from Scarpones. The variety of pasta. Sausages in a row. Photography K&S Media

I enjoyed a marvellous day at Scarpone’s. Beginning in the deli section where unfilled cannoli were piled high in the display case, I made my way through aisles filled with cheese, olives and pasta. Besides the Italian fare, I was pleased to see sprats (a personal favourite), Portugese canned seafood and Croatian wafers. Another great find was double zero (Doppio zero, 00) flour, a soft, white flour that is a chef favourite for handmade pasta.

The variety at Scarpone’s is another delight, twenty three types of olive oil, fresh chestnuts, homemade bread, salt cod, panettone, olives, umpteem brands of sparkling water. Perhaps because grocery shopping is a hobby, Scarpone’s is a place I could spend an afternoon, persusing the aisles for novel products, conjuring up new meals.

Scarpone’s has a wonderful homey atmosphere, with longtime customers stopping by for lunch and hailing out the owners. A menu written on a rustic chalkboard hangs over the lunch buffet area. All the items are made from scratch daily and I chose a simple lunch of pizza (not pictured). Made with crisp focaccia, the pizza was topped with a fresh tomato salsa. The menu changes daily and there is always a meat option and a vegetarian option.

What a gem.

Great West Italian Importers/ Scarpone’s
5130 Skyline Way NE
Calgary, Alberta
Phone: 403-275-8222
www.scarpones.com