When it comes to Italian cuisine, East Bay residents have a deep love and appreciation for authentic flavors and traditional recipes. The area is home to a vibrant community of makers and purveyors who share that same passion. From handmade fresh pasta and gelato to imported and domestic cheeses and cured meats, there’s no shortage of delicious Italian delicacies to be found. Whether you’re in the mood to whip up a hearty lasagna, enjoy a classic Italian maritozzi, or indulge in a beautiful charcuterie board, these local businesses are sure to please!
Stepping into Prica Farina, located on the corner of Market and Main in downtown Warren, feels like walking into the home of co-owners Priscila Moritz and David Strenio. With over 40 years of combined experience in the food and beverage industry, the couple opened the charming shop after being inspired by all the gourmet food and pasta shops they encountered while living in Brazil. According to Moritz, they originally considered opening a specialty cheese shop, but decided they wanted to offer more, so why not pasta? Strenio, the former head cheesemaker at Great Hill Dairy in nearby Marion, MA, handles the production of most of their products, including all the pasta, working alongside a talented baker who is their only employee. With her friendly disposition, Moritz manages the customer service side of the business, greeting patrons, helping with any questions they may have, and ensuring that they have a positive experience during their visit.
As far as the pasta goes, it’s made fresh daily and greets you in a glass case upon entering the shop – in 10 or more varieties – such as linguini, bucatini, tagliatelle, gnocchi, tortelloni, and ravioli, to name a few. They use flour imported from Italy to make the dough and a classic Italian method of extruding long and short shaped pastas through traditional bronze dies (perforated metal plates). Strenio also uses a ravioli machine to assist with sealing and cutting the fresh filled pasta.
The freshness of everything at Prica Farina is the most noticeable thing. Not only do they make all the pasta, but they also create other delicious Italian specialties in house: pizza dough, focaccia, and assorted baked goods like pistachio maritozzi – a lightly sweetened pistachio cream-filled masterpiece. Once a week they hand-pack a variety of creative gelato flavors, such as Turkish coffee, stracciatella, Biscoff, and lemon sorbet, truly maximizing their production space. These pints are available for purchase daily, but they sell out quickly.
2 Market Street, Warren • 401-245-1680 • PricaFarina.com
Wedge is a delightful addition to the town of Warren. With no formal food background, owners Sasha Goldman and Chelsea Morrissey decided to take a risk and open a shop that carried all the things they wanted to buy but had trouble finding. The shop’s location on Water Street proved to be the perfect spot, and they opened its doors in late December 2022. The decor is modern and inviting, featuring stunning black and white tiled flooring and a beautiful glass case that displays their selection of artisanal cheeses as a main focal point. Goldman describes the shop “as a fun and inviting place where you will want to spend time discovering new things,” and this sentiment is certainly reflected in the store’s atmosphere
While Wedge has some staple cheeses, such as Parmigiano Reggiano and clothbound cheddar, the owners also like to occasionally change up the variety they offer. Some special Italian-inspired domestic standouts they offer are Vivace, from Cato Corner Farm in Connecticut, which is a cross between Emmental and Italian Provolone; the Pesto Ricotta from Crooked Face Creamery in Maine is another notable option – a rich, creamy whole milk ricotta, layered with fresh pesto and pressed into a disk-like shape. Finally, the Marieke Truffle Gouda from Wisconsin is sweet and herbaceous, and speckled with black truffle flakes. In addition to cheeses, the shop carries New England charcuterie items, such as Vermont Salumi Bresaola and Capocollo, as well as North Scituate-based Martinelli Farm’s Wild Boar, Tartufo, and Porcini salami. The shop also stocks a beautifully curated selection of specialty food items such as chocolates, crackers, biscuits, olive oils, vinegars, preserves, and honey, many of which are locally made.
If DIY isn’t for you, Wedge also offers various custom charcuterie boards and their adorable Char-cute-erie Cups, making it the perfect spot to impress guests at your next event.
279 Water Street • 401-252-4189 • WedgeRI.com
As you step into Mozz Newport, the aroma of espresso and freshly baked bread, along with a friendly “Buongiorno!’’ from Luca Mignogna or his staff, will make you feel right at home. Located in Bellevue Gardens Shopping Center in the former home of Newport Creamery, husband and wife team Luca and Christina Mignogna opened Mozz in June 2022. Luca’s extensive background in cheesemaking started early as a young boy helping his grandfather make cheese in the Molise region of Southern Italy. After becoming more serious about cheesemaking, he studied at the University of Vermont’s Institute for Artisan Cheese, and then returned home to Molise to apprentice with a master cheesemaker, perfecting the art of making traditional Molisani cheeses, such as mozzarella. Reflecting on his past, Luca says “all of my happiest memories involve food.” He hopes to share this feeling of joy and happiness with his customers when they visit his shop.
Prior to opening Mozz Newport, Luca and Christina had a beloved cheesemaking facility, Wolf Meadow Farm in Amesbury, MA, but closed in late 2018 after learning that their lease would not be renewed. After taking a break and refocusing their efforts on a new Italian-inspired cheese concept in Newport, the couple decided to name their new venture Mozz. The name is derived from the word mozzare, meaning to cut, and serves as a metaphor for the concept of being unfinished.
Most mornings Luca starts his day with cheesemaking. In addition to his supple fresh mozzarella, he also makes scamorza, burrata, and stracciatella. However, Mozz doesn’t just specialize in formaggi or cheese, they also offer pane or bread, including their house-made focaccia and country bread as well as baked imported breads. They also offer a great selection of imported charcuterie, as well as domestic and imported cheeses from France, Italy, and Spain. The shop is fully stocked with imported and local provisions from small family-owned businesses, including dried pasta, olive oils, vinegars, honey, and preserves.
Luca shares his passion for the craft by organizing popular workshops, including an introduction to cheesemaking, a two-and-half-hour course transforming fresh local milk into primo sale or farmers cheese. A mozzarella workshop teaches history and stretching techniques. Additionally, there’s a pasta-making class, where you will learn how to make cavatelli by hand using only three or less simple ingredients. As Luca explains, “I want to pass on my knowledge and passion so it isn’t lost in the next generation.”
181 Bellevue Avenue, Newport • 401-324-7065 • MozzNewport.com
Located in Tiverton’s historic Four Corners district, The Cheese Wheel Village Market opened in the fall of 2018 by The Bothelo Family, but the location has been a specialty cheese shop for at least 15 years. They boast an impressive selection of over 200 cheeses sourced from all over the world, and have thus garnered a reputation for being a destination for cheese and charcuterie lovers. Find goudas, cheddars, blues, alpine styles, washed rinds, and pecorinos, along with an extensive variety of sheep and goat milk cheeses, and more. A few notable Italian-sourced cheeses are the Testun al Barolo from Piemonte, a blended cow and goat’s milk alpine cheese matured in grape pressings which add a fruity tang to the robust cheese. The Pecorino Siciliano from Sicily is another favorite among the cheesemongers – this piquant hard sheep’s milk cheese is perfect for grating over pasta. Finally, the Gorgonzola Piccante from Novara, Italy is a pasteurized cow’s milk blue that has an intense sharp flavor and crumbly texture that’s perfect paired with honey or crumbled over salads.
In addition to the cheeses, the shop is stocked with a host of charcuterie items, which they slice fresh upon order, including Jamon Iberico de Bellota and Prosciutto di Parma. They’re known for creating beautiful custom charcuterie boards in different shapes, sizes, and price points. But The Cheese Wheel is not just a cheese and meat shop; they also offer a large selection of house-made prepared foods and baked goods, such as meatballs in marinara, chicken parmigiano, and mushroom stroganoff, plus breads, pies, and scones (many of which are gluten-free) and local provisions including pickles, honey, crackers, vinegars, and preserves.
Whether you’re a local or a cheese enthusiast visiting Tiverton, The Cheese Wheel Village Market is a food lovers’ one-stop shop for its impressive selection of cheeses from around the world.
3838 Main Road, Tiverton • 401-816-5069 • TheCheeseWheelRI.com
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