Could Bosa Foods be the “Italian Costco?” In some ways it certainly is.
SHOPPING AROUND | In 1960, when my grandmother lived two blocks up from the original Bosa Foods on Victoria Drive, I remember being a curious five-year-old suburban kid standing in the store, totally in awe, wishing I had easy access to so many noodles back in Burnaby.
Bosa has been selling an unrivalled selection of imported Italian specialties since 1957, and in 2006 finally opened a spacious second store off Boundary Road near 1st Avenue. Called the “Italian Costco” by some, the new store has a very un-Costco-like Tuscan bell tower, but the description does fit the generous supply and variety of free samples—cheeses, biscotti, mini cannolis, pizza and breads—offered.
What’s In Store At Bosa Foods
Bosa Foods has maintained and added to its astonishing selection of everything Italian and edible, including its own brand of well-priced products, Italissima, which it supplies to other stores. The wall of more than 70 types of olive oil is a beautiful thing, surpassed only by the wall of more than 100 kinds of jarred olives and spreads beside it, and the variety of olives glistening in the deli case. There are meats and cheeses, breads and merende (snacks), coffee and candy, Italian sodas and a slew of balsamic vinegars.
I’m happy to report that the pasta aisles still invoke awe—both in selection and in the deals to be had. With so many choices of packaged and fresh pastas (I stopped counting at 25!), there are bargains at both the low and high ends, and products that just can’t be had for any price in other stores. I always stock up on 500-gram packages of pasta staples—penne, linguini and spaghetti for $1.49 each, and on my last visit I scored a box of Bigoli Nobili al Raddichio Rosso rarely seen outside of Italy. Bigoli is traditional pasta from the Veneto that takes its name from the bronze extrusion process that gives the spaghetti-like noodles their rustic texture and bold flavour. I’ve seen it online from mail order companies in the States for more than $8 U.S. a 500-gram box, but it’s a steal at Bosa Foods for $3.99.—Terri Brandmueller
Bosa Foods, 1465 Kootenay Street and 562 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, 604-253-5578. For directions to either location visit www.bosafoods.com
Photo: C. Phaisalakani