Big John’s PFI

There’s this store down in South Seattle that I’ve been reading about for over a year now. I’ve meant to make it down there, but I really hate driving to/in Seattle, plus I never had a really good reason to go. So I didn’t. But then in the last week I’ve been on a fairly big wedding kick and after finding my venue, have really begun to put some plans together. Part of those plans is trying to figure out what the heck we’ll be eating, and how much it’s going to cost. I decided on lots of hors d’oeuvres, and to keep costs down, I plan to put it all together myself, with the help of baking things off, and storage laid at the hands of family and friends. Shhhh! They don’t know about that part yet!

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Regardless, one of the things that I want to have is a meat and cheese plate, which will require me to buy meats and cheese for 75-100 people. It also means that I better find a place to get really good stuff for a reasonable price. Que PFI, it’s an Italian/Mediterranean food importer that specializes in olives, cured meats, and cheese. They have like 50 different types of cheese. They also have aisle after aisle of bulk spices, frozen mini-tart shells, sauces from all over the world, gnocchi, and pasta. Oh, the pasta. Beautiful, interesting, stuff you wouldn’t find anywhere outside of a specialty shop. I ended up with large shells, but instead of clamshells, they’re conchs, so they kinda curl up. I’m going to stuff then with ricotta (ri-gOt) and top those puppies with some of Diane’s Pomodoro. They also had extruded sun-shaped pasta. I’ll be sure to take photos when I decide to cook that. I couldn’t pass it up. The best part, they were only $3.49 for pretty large bags. AWESOME!

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Anyway, we went there, got some tasty stuff, then I hit the cheese counter. They had 5 types of Manchego. I tried the 3 types of raw-milk manchego, a 1 year aged, and 2 18 month aged, with different price points. After spending $22/lb (with a 1lb minimum) on the middle of the pack, an 18 month one with a nice flavor, I decided not to get more cheese, and instead just buy a hunk of meat. We got a pound of dry salami, cured in red wine. YUM.

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After PFI, we headed back up to good old Bothell and hit QFC for some crackers, bread, and beer. Then I made some Kalamata olive tapenade, one of my favorite spreads to help round out the “meal.” We also had some pitted Kalamatas to snack on.

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I also picked up a chunk of very high quality milk chocolate for $2.83. We chipped chunks of it off with a bread knife and snacked on them. It was truly out of this world amazing.

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As I’ve mentioned before, I have a penchant for foreign snack foods with exciting labels, and the bug bit me again. I ended up coming home with some Israeli (Kosher) chocolate cookies with smiley faces on them, and Russian lemon creme cookies with Russian lettering on them. The chocolate ones were kinda weird and dry, but the lemon cookies were really good! Plus a sleeve was only $1.90. I’ll certainly make another trip down there and get lots more.

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