I’m a big fan of Italy, Italian culture and Italian food. Italian cuisine is probably my favourite. And my favourite food of all is pesto with hummus runner up (I know hummus isn’t Italian but it’s my second favourite food).
If I was on death row in America imprisoned for a crime I did not commit and had to choose my last meal it would be pesto.
“…a genuine Italian deli with all kinds of delicious authentic Italian produce you would expect to see in a deli in Naples…”
But mozzarella? I don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve nothing against buffalos or the cheese made from their milk for that matter. I can eat it but it’s not on my shopping list apart from when I make pizza. Which is practically never.
Luckily for me there’s a lot more to Salvi’s Mozzarella Bar than mozzarella.
Salvis’s is outside the Corn Exchange (what used to be The Triangle and before that The Corn Exchange) in what is now called Exchange Square but used to be called Hanging Ditch. Can’t think why they renamed it.
Fortunately, the only hanging that goes on in Hanging Ditch nowadays is people hanging around watching the huge TV screen which is slightly bigger than my next door neighbour’s.
I’ve walked past Salvi’s many times and assumed it was just another run of the mill chain serving the usual run of the mill food. I was wrong.
Inside it’s a genuine Italian deli with all kinds of delicious authentic Italian produce you would expect to see in a deli in Naples on display (which is not surprising as this is where Maurizio, the owner, comes from). There are a few tables at the back for diners and more outside when the weather’s fine.
If the quality of the pesto I sampled is anything to go by then the mozzarella will take some beating.
For starters, my ginger companion and I shared a cold platter for two consisting of three cold meats and three kinds of mozzarella (£15.90) followed by a pasta alla carbonara with pancetta,eggs and parmesan and a pasta alla Salvi’s with Sardinian anchovies and capers (both £8.95).
For dessert we chose pastier di grano, a wheat pie made with ricotta cheese, a traditional Neapolitan Easter treat, and chocolate fudge cake (£3.50).
Like the produce on sale in the deli, all the dishes on the menu use ingredients which are sourced from Italy and it tastes like it. This is real Italian food.
“…the most delicious pesto I have ever eaten.”
I am by no means a mozzarella expert and therefore do not feel qualified to judge the quality of the cheese. However I do consider myself to be a professor of pesto. If the quality of the pesto I sampled is anything to go by then the mozzarella will take some beating. For this was the most delicious pesto I have ever eaten.
Let me put it this way. If I am ever on death row in America for a crime I did not commit I would ask them to send for Maurizio (or whoever prepared that exquisite pesto) to make me my final meal (with a slice of pastier di grano for dessert). It is definitely pesto to die for.
Salvi’s has been nominated for the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Cheap Eats of the Year Award and it will certainly get our vote.
I recommend it for lovers of fine authentic Italian food but you’ll have to be quick. It’s closing after Christmas whilst the Corn Exchange is redeveloped and will open again when the refurbishment is complete.
Salvi’s Mozzarella Bar, Unit 22B The Corn Exchange, Exchange Square, Manchester M4 3TR
0161 222 8021