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One Saturday this past May, we struck out with our friends, Sharon and Mark, to attend the 2nd Annual Breakfast on the Bridge in Perkasie, run by the Bucks County Covered Bridge Society.
One of the benefits of maintaining our calendar of Food Events in Bucks County is that I find all kinds of great stuff to go to. Case in point. Where else can you enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast (provided by Joseph’s Italian Market in Perkasie), sitting on a historic covered bridge, satisfied in both body and conscience? It was a lot of fun, as well as educational. Make sure to look for it next year.
On our way to Perkasie, we passed Pasqualina’s Italian Market and Deli, in Blooming Glen, and I made a mental note to waylay our little culinary party on the way home. It wasn’t difficult. Sharon, as our intrepid readers may remember from previous posts, doesn’t need her arm twisted to stop at an Italian market.
Pasqualina’s is a gem. From the moment you walk in, it sparkles and beckons, enticing you with sights, smells and tastes. Cheeses, pastas, meats, olive oils and vinegars, homemade sauces and meatballs, Italian and Mediterranean groceries, and fresh hot and cold sandwiches – all in one compact, clean and inviting space.
First let’s get the Blooming Glen thing over with. You’re probably saying to yourself, “Blooming Glen? Huh?” It’s actually not as remote as it sounds to all you folks in Central and Lower Bucks. Go up Route 313, past Dublin, to Route 113, turn left (west) and go two miles. Voila. You’re there. There’s also a number of interesting food places on that stretch of Route 113, including Blooming Glen Catering (Big Bob’s BBQ), Tussock Sedge Farm Beef, Bolton Farm Market and the Blooming Glen CSA Farm.
Patty and Brian Gianfelice opened the market almost four years ago. Patty’s a native of Bucks and the couple raised their family just down the road. The market was Patty’s dream, and she nurtures it like a good Italian mother. (“Pasqualina” is her Italian name.)
“This is like one of my children,” she explains. “My name is on this. It was the name of my grandmother whom I adored, the best cook, the sweetest person. It has a lot of family strings for me.” Patty even has her cell number on her business card so customers can call if they have a question or need help with one of her recipes. Brian, who’s been married to Patty for many years, raising children and grandchildren, has come to appreciate her in a new way. “I’ve learned how incredibly talented my wife is because this is a very difficult thing to do. “
Pasqualina’s has many delectable things, but let’s start with cheese since it’s my favorite, and their selection is deep and interesting (rivaling Wegmans). The market carries over 90 kinds of cheese – from Italian classics like asiago, parmigiano-reggiano, and mascarpone – to others from all over Europe. My newest favorite is Ravenno, a Dutch cheese with “the nutty, caramel flavor of parmesan yet the sweetness of gouda.” They’ve laid out small tasting stations throughout the store, with freshly cut pieces to try, and informational signs.
“We’ve cut over 8 1/2 tons of cheese,” says Brian, a bit surprised himself, including cracking more than one wheel of parmigiano-reggiano. It’s worth stopping by frequently since they always have something new, and Brian loves sharing and teaching about cheese.