Switzerland: Indelicato, A Hidden Corner of Sicily in the Heart of Geneva

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Indelicato: A Hidden Corner of Sicily in the Heart of Pâquis

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The Indelicato fine food and wine shop is a Geneva institution.  Everyone in Pâquis knows Marguerite and Rosario, and the locals affectionately refer to Marguerite as “Mama”.

The attraction is not only Marguerite’s endearing personality, however. The shop offers high quality Italian fare that prompts many wealthy, loyal customers like kings and ambassadors to send their chauffeurs to pick up pasta delivered fresh from Italy twice a week, as well as top quality fruit and vegetables. When Sicilian tomatoes are in season (for instance, now), this is about the only place in Geneva you can get the non-greenhouse type. Several varieties are available for different uses – salads, cooking, etc.  When you taste these tomatoes you understand why tomatoes are classified as fruit, because they are as intense and sweet as a ripe red strawberry right off the vine. The Sicilian eggplants are also worth a try; they take on a sweet, almost confit, taste when cooked, and it is not necessary to salt them before cooking.

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An ever-changing cornucopia of pasta is on offer – always between 30 and 40 varieties from regions all over Italy. If you’re out to discover something new, try the Trofie alle Castagne, made with chestnut flour, and one of the oldest and most typical pastas from the Liguria region, or the Croxetti, from the historic mountain town of Varese Ligure in the same region, which look rather like large coins with their patterned stamps, a great accompaniment to roasted meat au jus (pour a little of the jus over the pasta).

For olive oil connoisseurs, a wide range from all producing regions is to be had. Balsamic vinegars are not lacking, ranging from simpler, less expensive ones for cooking to exquisite aged ones, such as the 40-year-old Pier Luigi Sereni, tasted by the drop on a ripe red strawberry or a crostini. High-quality condiments and sauces – including a large assortment of pestos and tomato-based sauces, onion jam, Balsamic jelly, red bell pepper jam, just to name a few – make it easy to whip up a quick but delicious pasta dish, or prepare simple but tasty starters or aperitif accompaniments. The jams and confits can also be added to consommés or served with one of the fine Italian cheeses on offer, and to make original crostini and antipasti using the fine selection of ham and sausages.

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The wine cellar will transport you immediately from Geneva to Italy. Its traditional Italian-style construction and perfect temperature and humidity control allow Rosario to offer a full range of Italian wine stored under optimal conditions, from affordable, good-quality wines to top-of-the-line wines cherished by collectors.

White wines, such as the Canus Friulano or Pinot Grigio, or the Villa Raiano Greco di Tufo, will provide a pleasant change from French or Swiss varietal wines when served with fish or chicken dishes. Red wines, such as Fontodi’s rich Vigna del Sorbo, characterful thanks to its 100% Sangiovese varietal composition, or their less intense Chianti Classico, with only 85% Sangiovese and 15 % Cabernet Sauvignon, both go well with grilled meat or pesto dishes, and offer highly affordable options.

In the mid-price range, treat yourself to a Flaccianello della Pieve 2005, with endless layers of fruit and long in the mouth. If your taste buds really pine for more and your pocket allows, try the 1995 Conterno Giacomo Barolo, a classic, or Giuseppe Quintarelli’s 1993 Amarone della Valpolicella, full of character and intense flavors, somewhat resembling a Madeira or Port yet still characterized as a dry wine, and which can stand up to strong flavors like wild boar or dark chocolate.

Indelicato
Italian gourmet food, wine and catering; delivery for large orders
12, rue des Pâquis
Tel./Fax +41 22 732 4591 E-mail rosarioindelicato@yahoo.com

This article was originally published on GenevaLunch.

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