Anderson & Boback recently had their summer firm outing at Eataly. We participated in a lovely one and half hour guided tour of the store, making several stops along the way. We stopped and had tastings at: the fruit and vegetable station, mozzarella station, meat and cheese station, pasta station, pizza station, bakery/bread station, gelato station and ended the tour at their downstairs coffee station (there is a more authentic coffee station upstairs with one of only two special coffee makers in the United States).
Some of the fun facts we learned along the way:
· The store carries over 700 different cheeses;
· The Chicago Tribune named the mozzarella that is made daily and in house at Eataly as the best mozzarella in the city (we all agreed);
· There are several vendors that solely provide products to Eataly, particularly produce;
· Eataly makes several beers in house;
· A current hot product right now is the lobster mushroom which has a bright orange and red color and supposedly tastes like seafood as well;
· Northern Italy is known for providing their soft pastas which contain eggs due to Northern Italy being historically wealthier and having access to them; where historically Southern Italy is known for their hard pastas which contain no egg;
· The stone-oven pizza cooks in 60-90 seconds and the oven usually remains between 600-900 degrees;
· All of the olive oil sold in Eataly was produced in Italy (olives were grown in Italy and it was processed there as well);
· Their “Rustic Loaf” bread is their most popular bread and consists of only four ingredients and is made in house just like all of their other bakery items;
· Italians typically eat a small breakfast, consisting of an espresso and a small bakery item.
All of the members of the firm had a great time learning all these facts regarding Italy and the products of Eataly; and we certainly enjoyed trying all of the different food items. If you have never been to Eataly, it is worth checking out! They have tours as well as cooking classes and demonstrations but I am sure it will be just as enjoyable if you take yourself on a self-guided tour.