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Lost In The (Truly Super) Market

Ambrosi and Sons

3910 Domestic Ave Naples, Fl

I love food shopping. Some people prefer to call it grocery shopping, but when I think of groceries I think of fruits and veggies, but food shopping is so much more and you can food shop at so many different wonderful places. You can food shop at a bodega, you can food shop at Costco, Publix, Whole Foods, etc. most absolute favorite place to food shop are specialty markets. You know the kind that are few and far between on this earth, but usually have the best and most deliciously unique products that you can't find in a Publix or Trader Joe's or pretty much anywhere else. And my most favorite of all the specialty market is the Italian market. Why Italian? Because with all apologies to France and Spain, they have the most delicious meats and cheeses and the best wines and the best oils and don't forget the pastas, on those fat piling on pastas. CARBS ARE GOOD (ok, they really aren't but if it makes you feel good and it tastes good, then why isn't it good? Isn't it better to be chubby and happy than thin and miserable? Everything in moderation, but if you get a nice little endorphin rush from putting something wonderful in your mouth, then regardless of how many miles it puts on your hips, can it TRULY be bad for you?). Now, other than Eately, most of these don't have the most massive selection, but that's not the point. You don't need huge if you have the best (Hey, creepy dudes, feel free to steal that for your Tinder profile).

I happen to stumble into one of these houses of the holy deliciousness in the industrial side of Naples today. In a very non-descript small building lies Ambrosi and Sons; a tiny little market featuring the finest in meats and cheese and oh the much wine. Now, I will confess, I have not tried out my purchases, but what made this place wonderful was my joyful conversation with the owner, Rudy. As soon as my righteous indignation about the over distribution of Napa Cabs in SWFL began, Rudy jumped into the conversation with the bright eyes of only a man truly passionate about food and drink could.

We discussed the complexity of Italian grapes, how well they pair with food, etc. Turns out Rudy started this business as an adjunct to his food distribution business purely out of love. Again, his selection isn't the biggest, but it's curated with love. He and his son sample every bottle of wine prior to finding out the price. He mentioned how different Italian cabs are from Napa and demanded I try one to see the difference. He also happened to have opened a fifty dollar bottle of wine in doing so.

THIS is why I shop local. You're not going to get someone to just rip a bottle off the shelf and do this anywhere but in a small mom and pop shop.

He also mentioned that he has free food wine tastings every Friday along, focusing on different regions and varietals. Honestly, I wanted one to start right then and there, despite it being eleven in the morning. I feel like Rudy and I could have talked food for hours, days, weeks, etc.

If I could create a living mascot for all things Smaller Bites (besides that ridiculous guy in the lucha libre mask, what's up with him), Rudy would be my guy.

My favorite thing he did, while explaining the different levels of parmesan he carried was tell me what a terrible businessman he was because he was recommending the cheapest one as his favorite.

In a world gone mad with corruption, anger, self-interest and just a total lack of kindness, this was a man from whom we could all learn.

Be a Rudy, this world needs more Rudys.

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