Sunday, June 9, 2024

A Delicious Journey Through Italian Day on The Drive

It's the second year that we've been swept away by the vibrant sights, sounds, and, most importantly, the incredible tastes of Italian Day on The Drive. Our five-kilometre trek from our apartment to Commercial Drive was a beautiful adventure under the bright Vancouver sun. Armed with hats, sunscreen, water, and empty stomachs, we were ready to dive into the heart of the festival.

Apollini from Antise

The first stop was a classic Italian treat – the Apollini from Antise. This crispy pastry shattered with a delightful snap, revealing a creamy vanilla filling. A dusting of powdered sugar added a touch of playful indulgence, though it did leave a light dusting on my shirt (thankfully white!).

Apollini from Antise

Apollini from Antise

Sausage and Peperonata on a Bun from Il Centro

Next up was a sausage and peperonata on a bun from Il Centro. I was impressed by the sausage. Unlike some sausages that can be dry and tough, this one was incredibly tender and flavorful, bursting with savoury goodness in every bite. The perfect pairing was the tangy peperonata, a medley of peppers cooked down to a sweet and slightly spicy relish.

Sausage and Peperonata on a Bun from Il Centro

Sausage and Peperonata on a bun from Il Centro

Sausage Skewer and Grilled Corn from Triple A Market

Triple A Market's sausage skewer and grilled corn were revelations. The skewer featured a delightful combination of colourful grilled peppers and zucchini punctuated by juicy pineapple slices that perfectly balanced the savoury sausages. The char from the grill added a smoky depth that made each bite even more delicious. And, of course, perfectly grilled corn, its sweetness a welcome contrast to the other flavours.

Grilled Italian Sausage and Skewers from Triple A Market

Skewer from Triple A Market

Grilled Corn from Triple A Market

Shroom Pizza from Local Pizzaiolo

My husband took the lead on ordering the Shroom Pizza from Local Pizzaiolo. This vegetarian masterpiece boasted a creamy porcini base, gooey mozzarella, and a generous medley of roasted mushrooms. Finished with shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano and a fragrant drizzle of truffle oil, each bite was an explosion of savoury and earthy flavours.

Shroom Pizza from Local Pizzailo

Arancini from Local Pizzailo

We also shared an Arancini (a fried rice ball filled with cheese and tomato sauce), but while it was good, Mr. Arancino still holds the crown for our favourite.

Arancini from Local Pizzaiolo

Arancini filled with cheese and tomato sauce from Local Pizzailo

Truffle Fries from Local Pizzaiolo

The final act of our culinary adventure was the Truffle Fries from Local Pizzaiolo. Crispy golden fries were generously coated in a rich truffle aioli, their intoxicating aroma filling the air. A sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh Italian parsley added pops of salty and verdant notes, making this a truly decadent side dish.

Truffle Fries from Local Pizzailo

Salted Macadamia Honey and Hazelnut Gelato from Il Mondo Caffe & Gelato

To cool off after our flavorful feast, we couldn't resist indulging in gelato from Il Mondo Caffe & Gelato. My salted macadamia honey was a symphony of textures – the smooth, creamy gelato studded with crunchy macadamia nuts. The honey swirled throughout added a touch of sweetness that perfectly complemented the nutty richness. My husband opted for the hazelnut gelato, but let's just say there's a reason I declared the macadamia the champion!

Salted Macadamia Honey Gelato from Il Mondo Caffe & Gelato

Hazelnut Gelato from Il Mondo Caffe & Gelato

Our journey through Italian Day on The Drive was a true celebration of all things delicious. Every bite was an explosion of flavour and texture, from the light and airy Apollini to the decadent truffle fries. While Mr. Arancino may still hold the Arancini crown, we discovered a treasure trove of new favourites. And with a scoop of creamy gelato, the day ended on a perfectly cool and refreshing note. I can't wait to see what culinary delights Italian Day brings next year!

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