Who would have thought that rummaging through an old dimly lit warehouse could be so much fun?
At Big John’s Pacific Food Importers, you’ll find aisles of specialty food items such as Hazelnut Spread from Italy made with Arcacia honey and Piedmont hazelnut; Cream of Almonds from Sicily; or Crème de Calisson from Aix-en-Provence.
Shelves of olive oils from France, Italy, Morocco or Spain.
My favorite is Castillo de Canena Family Reserve Picual Olive Oil (pictured in the middle) from Spain. Not only it is great for salads or toastada con tomate, its floral note and hint of almond and green banana makes it a perfect candidate for a fruity olive oil ice cream or an aromatic olive oil cake.
Award winning balsamic vinegar from Modena.
Cans of sardines from France, Portugal or Spain; Mackerels in white wine and spice or creamy mustard sauce from France; And Squid in Ink?
The fish I like to spread on German dark rye bread or caraway flavored Crispy Flatbread from Finland, topped with green salad and organic Mediterranean capers. They are perfect for breakfast or antipasti.
There are also bins of grains, beans, salt and spices, selling in bulk.
Including these four types of farros that I mix or use interchangeably in this root vegetable farro salad.
Glass jars of baking chocolate
or hot cocoa to warm up a cold winter day.
And speaking of baking, I stock up on these gold-medalist Président Butters whenever I see them.
And Organic Sicilian Almond Paste that I turn into a mouth-watering almond cake. No sugar or almond extract necessary.
Not to mention a good variety of honey and jams from England, France and Italy.
And an extended selection of cheese.
Surely it is possible to source all these goodies if you visit numerous specialty food stores around town. But why bother when you can get all of them here at reasonable price.
If you are a food-lover or a visitor of the Puget Sound area, I highly recommend a trip to Big John’s Pacific Food Importers. Their selections change from time to time, but you are guaranteed a good time learning about other cultures and their foods.
“From our family to yours, we believe in bringing the highest quality, most affordable imported foods straight from the old world right to your dinner table!”
– The Croce Family