Hidden Old-World Gems at Gustiamo

Think of Gustiamo as the anti-Eataly. Run by Italian expats, it imports artisanal foodstuffs—pastas, oils, rice, coffee, sweets, sauces, and more—direct from producers in Italy and sells them from a warehouse in the Bronx. Most of its business is conducted wholesale or by mail, but anyone who treks to the West Farms neighborhood can shop there in person.

Though it's been in business for years, Gustiamo has attracted little media attention save for occasional mentions in the Times (most recently concerning preserved piennolo tomatoes grown in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius). So unlike Eataly, the giant Manhattan shopping and dining emporium from Mario Batali et al., the low-profile Gustiamo can pretty much guarantee its visitors zero crowds, waits, and aggravation.

"Amazing stuff!" marvels CitySpoonful, who made the trip to the Bronx. "Their selection/knowledge makes Eataly look like Disney World." One of Gustiamo's most ardent fans is Hobbykoechin, a mail-order regular who loves its vinegars, olive oils, Umbrian legumes, pastas (Latina, Faella, Martelli), and rices like Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, Venere Nero (Black Venus), and Rosso Integrale (organic red rice). She gets the scoop on discounts and new products on Facebook. Some others, put off by the prices, aren't tempted. "Throw in shipping," dietndesire reckons, "might as well take a trip to the homeland and lug back a crate of goods."

Gustiamo [Bronx]
1715 West Farms Road (between E. 173rd and 174th streets), Bronx
718-860-2949

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