Manhattan's Little Italy may be disappearing, but up in the Bronx, an enclave of descendants from that southern European nation still leads a vibrant existence, turning out cured meats, freshly made cheeses, just-shelled clams, and filled-to-order canoli from a stretch of shopfronts along Arthur Avenue. And you won't find the tourists here that fill the sidewalks downtown -- most of the patrons of these spots are neighbors, and they speak Italian with shopkeepers while they pick up their groceries.
|All photos by Laura Shunk|
|Giovanni Rana gets ready to guide us along the shops of Arthur Avenue|
Giovanni Rana, an Italian baker who built an international tortellini and ravioli empire (you can pick up his pasta at Eataly and many other local grocery stores, and he is the patriarch of the family who owns Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina in Chelsea Market), was in town last week, and so he ate with us along this row, offering his thoughts on what makes good cheese for pasta, how you know if you're buying good bread, and why salami -- all salami -- is delicious.More »