Monday, September 29, 2008

Lo Shopping: Castroni


Last month for my birthday I thought I would make something special…pancakes.

I went to the flagship store in Prati. This is the place for cranberry juice and other hard to find foreign food. They also a great selection of Italian gourmet food.

The food from America isn’t cheap. I paid the equilvant of 12 U.S. dollars for a tiny ass box of pancake mix and a small bottle of syrup from Vermont.

However, I enjoyed my purchases immensely. I thought by now I would be craving certain foods but I don’t. The only things I really miss from the States are Jelly Bellys and Swedish Fish and they are not food. Oh how I wish they were packed with vitamins. Anyway, I can go to Ikea for the Fish. Seriously, if the craving gets that strong I have no problem taking the bus to the train then another bus just to buy the candy and these dill potato chips that are sooooo good.

Sometimes I have conflicting feelings about buying Aunt Jemina pancake mix. It really is the best. Same with Uncle Ben’s rice…again it’s the best regular rice. They are the brands I grew up with. I’ve tried others and they were not as good. At least now Aunt Jemina (a former slave named Nancy Green was the model) lost the Mammy get up in the 50s. The brand has been around since the 1890s.

I don’t have any issues with the Quakers Oats man or Mr. Clean. Ha.

Castroni
Via Cola di Rienzo, 196

18 comments:

joanne at frutto della passione said...

I used to shop there!! Now I get stuff (that I can't find here or don't bring back when I travel) online. There is a place in the UK that I have had good luck with. http://www.angloaustraliantrading.com/Canadashop/CAdefault.aspx
Quick delivery, but not cheap.

Romerican said...

PS- lots of regular supermarket in Rome now sell things like nacho chips, flour tortillas & salsa and their prices are not as high as castroni! Ex: Todis discount supermarkets have a decent selection of mexican products.
Yeah, pancake mix is crazy expensive, I started making them from scratch and just save the batter in the fridge.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

joanne - Thanks for the link. I am trying to expand my rotation of dishes. I've been cooking way too much pasta.

romerican - it's funny you wrote that because just today I found flour tortillas at one of my local supermarkets!!

I think I will be making some fajitas this weekend. I like to make regular salsa from scratch but when I saw that bottle of Salsa Verde I had to buy it. You're right Castroni is molto expensive. It's a once in a blue moon kind of treat.

Miss Expatria said...

If you want them cheap, you gotta go to the tiny international foods store at piazza Vittorio Emanuele. YOu know where MAS is? Directly across from that. It's nothing to look at, really, but I've even found MIRACLE WHIP in there, and everything was MUCH less expensive than Castroni.

glamah16 said...

Thankfully you are finding sources for your goodies. And ther is always the internet.I have some Swedish bloggers who I have brought some Mexican ingrediants to and plan to continue to do so when I visit. I love to do things like that when I travel and vice versa.

Beatriz Macias said...

I also buy Uncle Ben's rice, as it is the only long rice that won't stick together, and I like it like that. We eat a lot of rice, not just risotto. Pancakes are a Sunday staple and I make them from scratch, easy recipe, and they are always a hit with Nicolas' friends... I will make them with Nico for our next Cucina di Nicola, and you can give them a try!

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

I sure know whatcha mean!! I swear to God that yesterday I almost bought you a bag of Jelly Bellies to add to your care package! Next time. It's already taped up and ready to go for this time. At least now I know what to send to surprise you. Love Castroni but I always felt kind of ticked about having to pay so much. Remember the Stove Top for Thanksgiving Dinner? Yikes.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

miss expatria - Grazie for the time. I have been to the market at Pz. Vittorio but not the store MAS. Next time I'm in the area I must check it out.

glamah16 - yes I will be stocking up on some goodies next time I travel. Mostly cosmetics I can't find here though. :) I heard Origins in opening a store in Rome in two years.

beatriz - When I lived in the State tried other rices and they did stick. I've been using on the store brands here and it's pretty good. I can't remember the name of the top of my head...Despare?

shelley - I do remember! Thanks again for sending the package. I cannot wait.

charlie said...

If you hang around in Italy long enough you might find those cravings wear off a little! But then again, it is nice to have some home comforts around.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

charlie - I hope the Swedish Fish and Jelly Bellys cravings go away (and sometimes I do crave a deep dish apple pie with a crumble topping) but other than sweets I'm doing alright on the food front. I really thought I would be sick of Italian food by now...but I'm not.

hdurrow said...

When I lived in Spain for a semester during college I craved Peanut Butter! But that is a very messy food for people to ship overseas!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

hdurrow - PB and cheddar cheese are the two things I hear a lot of expats pine for. I think there is PB here now. Haven't looked for it. I don't buy packaged bread anymore so not sure what I would put PB on. I do see lots of jelly.

Camille Acey said...

Not to be such a purist, but pancakes are so easy (and better) to make from scratch. Syrup for those pancakes? Now that is something to actually hunt down.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

camille - I will try to make them from scratch one day. I have a bottle of syrup I need to use.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

NYC, I second Camille - I LOVED Aunt Jemima mix growing up, but once I learned how easy from scratch was, I was completely hooked. I make all kinds of grain, etc., combinations and just love the pancakes.

But, hey, it was your b'day - there are much more expensive celebrations than American pancake mix and maple syrup! ;-)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

jen - in the past my normal birthday purchase was a new bag or a pair shoes. this was much cheaper. ha.

NewWrldYankee said...

It is insanely expensive here in Hungary,too. They sell the oh, so, quality brand of Shop Rite, and mark it up for basically $10 for a tiny box. If you want, I have a great recipe for pancakes from scratch. You have to try it - its great. Substitute buttermilk for regular milk if you want that trademark taste.
http://www.yankeeinnewworld.com/2008/10/06/another-american-favorite-pancakes/

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

nyw - thanks for the recipe. I have a few to try out now. Very excited.