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Support your local indy: vote for us in the English Italian Awards 2017!

Final chance to Vote Amaretto – let’s take best Italian Deli in the English Italian Awards Finals – voting closes at midnight this Thursday 17th August.

If you have a couple of minutes free, Amaretto Deli would love your vote in the English Italian Awards 2017 – let’s get Norfolk into the English Italian Awards finals! Voting closes at midnight tomorrow night.

Fabrizio used to import Tuscan deli food and deliver across Norfolk and due to these connections Fab now stocks lots of Italian specialities in Amaretto that you can’t get anywhere else. Salami includes salame Toscano, Tartufo (truffle) and Finocchiona (fennel) from Adriano Manchini. There is fresh gnocchi and pasta, lots of Italian cheeses, olives, sauces, oils, chocolates and hampers.

As well as this, Amaretto serves Italian coffee through-out the day, and even our local ice-cream is made by Parravani’s. You will always see a large queue of people at lunch-time; buying hot meals or pizza and sandwiches, not to mention the olives, cheeses and salami.

In true Italian style, Fab also stocks lots of quality local food, and is a proud new member of the local project Proudly.

People are voting for us in the regional categories of Best Deli/Cafe and Best Team – and if you felt like it, a vote for Best Italian Business would be great too.

You’ll need our details: Amaretto Delicatessen, 16 St Georges Street, Norwich, NR3 1BA.

Vote in the English Italian Awards here.

Many thanks!

The Amaretto Team

How to pair cheese with wine.

Love Cheese? Love Wine? We do too, so this week we learnt some top tips on how to put them together.

Some months ago now, Jeremy from Norfolk Wine School came in and asked us to supply some of our cheeses for his monthly wine and cheese class. On Wednesday I went along to June’s session, hosted at the lovely St Andrew’s Brew House just a few doors along from Amaretto Delicatessen. I mean if you’re going to go back to school then why not make it a wine school.

Learning how to taste.

The upstairs room at the Brew House was filled with a long table. There were lots of people sitting around the table, and at each setting, six glasses and a plate. Jeremy made a prompt start and, promisingly, we were treated to some Cava as he opened the class (something that would have helped jolly along the lessons nicely in my high-school’s physics lessons particularly). Everyone smiled and the lady opposite me took off her coat, rubbed her hands. We were off.

After we had been expertly schooled in the art of how to taste wine – swirling, smelling, checking the colour – and the key components to watch out for when pairing food and wine, we began to taste the generous cuts of cheese and the wine.

Surprisingly, Jeremy had put four white wines on the menu, only two reds. The first wine, a Sauvignon de Touraine from the Loire valley, was light in colour and body. It swirled around non-stickily in the glass, which meant that it was not too high in alcohol. We smelt, then tasted the wine. I began to zone in mindfully on things like grassy notes, and citrus. Because the grapes are produced in a colder Northern climate, said Jeremy, they are naturally more acidic. When it comes to food pairings, acidity is apparently a good thing. This low bodied wine was put together with a less intense cheese – a creamy Chèvre (goat’s cheese), also from the Loire valley. This classic match works because the cheese is salty and a bit lemony, it matches the intensity of the wine; neither outdoing, but rather complementing each other beautifully.

Moving on we went through a number of interesting wines. Each wine was very different in body and tone and each tasting taught us a new type of pairing – whether complementary, cutting, contrasting. Jeremy is independent, so we weren’t beholden to any one supplier, nor to any one type of wine. I found the most surprising wine was the fourth, a very smokey red that was paired with our local cheddar-like cheese; Smoked Dapple. The wine and Smoked Dapple amplified each other’s intensity in a way that ex-smokers might particularly appreciate.

The Amaretto match: Chianti and Pecorino.

My favourite match? A smoother than smooth Chianti with our hard Pecornio cheese from Tuscany. It’s a taste combination that is difficult to top, a classic – the tannin stickiness of the Chianti, the high acidity, the smoothness meaning that it’s a great pairing with food generally – with pasta, tomato sauces and particularly the salty, medium bodied, addictive Pecorino we had on the plate on the night.

We finished with a sweet desert wine paired with our creamy blue cheese, the Roquefort. The contrast between the two was a very enjoyable sensation. Everybody lingered at the end, finishing what was left in the bottles of wine, chatting. There was a great atmosphere in the room, which had been nurtured by Jeremy’s friendly and professional style of schooling. We’d all been encouraged to chat, ask questions, answer questions and above all to eat and drink attentively which all added to our enjoyment.

Get the knowledge.

Jeremy runs these classes monthly so if you’re interested in going along and finding out more about how to become an excellent cheese and wine match-maker then do book up early. The classes normally sell out well in advance. Do also check out the many other wine tasting courses available. The Norfolk Wine School offers full courses or various monthly tasters like this one. Find out more at Norfolk Wine School. 

If you are then inspired to try some pairings at home, do of course come into Amaretto to browse our cheeses – and you should feel free to ask for a taster first. 

Salute!

Job Opportunity – pizza /sandwich maker sought

We are looking for a Pizza / Sandwich chef to work at Amaretto Delicatessen Norwich – this is a great job opportunity for the right person. We are ideally looking for somebody with experience, but personality counts more; we can train up the right person – so if you don’t have experience don’t let that put you off. This is your chance to learn how to make great pizza the Italian way using the best ingredients. Our deli is a friendly and rewarding environment to work in; we pride ourselves on our team spirit and sense of camaraderie. As a small, family run business, we’re looking for somebody who knows how to get along with others, and who appreciates the importance of taking pride in their work. Food matters! Think you might fit in at Amaretto? Please come into the shop on 16 St George’s Street, Norwich between 10am-3pm and ask for Fabrizio. Alternatively do text Fab on 07732 538398. If Fab thinks that you’re a suitable candidate you’ll then be asked about your previous work experience, your available hours, and perhaps to work a brief trial session.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Amaretto Fine Food Tasting for Norwich Food and Drink Festival 2017

Its been a while since we’ve done a food tasting, but when the Norwich Food and Drink Festival got in touch to ask us to put on an event for the 2017 Festival, we were delighted to get involved.

Amaretto Fine Food Tasting for the Norwich Food and Drink Festival, 

Saturday 24th June, 2-4pm, Amaretto Deli, 16 St Georges St, Norwich.

Please do simply come down to Amaretto between 2-4pm to sample some of our cheeses, salami, hams, olives and other treats in the shop. Fabrizio will be there to answer any questions you might have or to make recommendations. As well as the Italian and Spanish food you can also sample some of our delicious local specialities. People tell us it’s all pretty good stuff, but don’t just take our word for it:

“All the delicacies are authentic, be they parmesan or Tuscan salamis, pasta sauces from Puglia or Spanish Manchego cheese and membrillo (quince jelly) – or cheeses from the local Norfolk farms. Where possible, goods are from family-run, artisan businesses. This is produce that you can’t buy in the supermarkets and it really shows.” Deli of the month, Food and Travel Magazine

 

Find out more about Amaretto’s deli treats on our website.

The Norwich Food and Drink Festival proper takes place on on Father’s Day, Sunday 18th June at the Forum and in the surrounding area, events running from 10am – 5pm. There will be the Battle of the Bangers, an Adnams beer tent, live music and loads more. Most info is on the Forum website for now and there will be an official Norwich Food and Drink Festival website launching before too long. And events celebrating great food will be taking place all through June at different venues across Norwich – do look out for them.

See you soon!

PS. Here’s a clip of Alan Partridge making the most of food tasting on Norwich Market. He really knows how its done.

Salute! A fond farewell to Umberto’s Trattoria.

When Fabrizio first came to Norwich fifteen years ago, one of the first places he found was Umbertos Trattoria, the Italian restaurant on St Benedict’s street, Norwich. Missing home, Fabrizio was delighted to find an authentic taste of Italy on his doorstep but more, he was pleased to find Umberto himself, who really helped Fabrizio out as he found his feet in Norwich.

“From the menu to the décor to the emotional Italian power-pop on the stereo to the wine served by the carafe, Umberto’s has a charmingly authentic retro feel to it.” Emma Lee, Eastern Daily Press

Umberto's Trattoria, Norwich

A few weeks ago now, Umberto asked Fab to pass by the restaurant. When he got there, Umberto had prepared a crate of beers, wine, pasta, and a bottle of the same Amaretto liquor he used to generously pour for us at the end of a meal when he came out of the kitchen in his chef’s hat and toured the restaurant. Umberto said that he was finally retiring, the restaurant would be closing soon. As well as the goodies, Umberto also passed on some cook-books. We were touched leafing through the recipes, as we recognised some of the classic dishes that we’d tasted in Umberto’s over the years, pages turned over denoting favourite recipes.

Umberto opened the restaurant in the mid-nineties, and cooked all his meals from scratch, using the best ingredients. The pictures around the restaurant conjured up Umberto’s native Calabria; the toe of the boot of Italy, located just over from Sicily. The regional cuisine is what kept his customers so happy over the years and at the end of the evening we were always pleased to spend some time talking to Umberto, hearing stories of his life growing up in Tropea, Calabria.

Umberto’s is now closed; another restaurant will be opening there soon. We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Umberto for all of the good times; Grazie Umberto!

Thank you for the recipe books – you can be sure that we will be recreating some of those same dishes for the Amaretto lunch-time crowd over the months to come. Norwich will miss you and your amazing food – and we wish you all the very best in your retirement. Please pass by for a coffee soon and often.

Comments are open on this post, do scroll down and leave a message for Umberto – we will pass it on.

La Cucina Siciliana cookbook
A favourite Italian recipe

“Un pezzo di Calabria. Uno di quei vecchi ristoranti a gestione familiare, cosa difficle da trovare in inghilterra…cibo ottimo, buona la pizza e servizio giovane e sorridente.”

“A piece of Calabria. One of those traditional Italian family restaurants that are very difficult to find in England….Great food, great pizza and youthful, smiling service.”

Nico T, Genova, Trip Advisor