The Grocery List: Cost Plus World Market

When thinking groceries, Cost Plus is not the first place that jumps to mind. However Cost Plus carries some specialty dry food products and great tools that are hard to find elsewhere- and they’re all sensibly priced. Here’s what I would go to Cost Plus for…

First of all, coffee. Cost Plus has the most extensive assortment of Illy Caffe’ coffees. Illy is an all-Italian favorite: this brand from Trieste is considered the top quality commercial coffee, and Italians really enjoy the metal cans! Lavazza is another well-known coffee brand. All these coffee, when bought ground, will be fit for coffee brewing in the traditional Italian coffee maker, known as moka. The premier brand here is Bialetti.

Speaking of kicthen tools, I love the Ghidini products I find at Cost Plus. Their prices are actually better than in Italy! You can find a salami cutting board, long and narrow (on the left), tagliatelle “hangers”, to let the pasta dry out, and pasta cutters in different shapes. I like the “fringed” wheel to cut out the ravioli, and I use the ring-shaped cutter to make Gnocchi alla Romana, a semolino pasta.

Last on my tool list is the pizza stone. When making pizza at home, the stone is of capital importance to replicate the wood burning oven effect! I have a terrific pizza recipe I will post soon, but the real secret is the stone: warm up the oven to 400 F with the stone in it, so that is nice and hot. Then, put the pizza you rolled on it, without the need of flour or olive oil: the dough won’t stick and the pizza will come out tasting delicious!

On to the goodies! Since Cost Plus only carries shelf food that can be preserved without refrigeration, most of the things I buy here are canned or sweet. There is a huge exception: Salame. Citterio makes this small salamino packed in a vacuum bag, and since it is not pre-sliced it preserve its flavor. It is not the best salami you’ll ever eat, but it does its job!

Sweets and bakery goods are another favorite. I can find Amaretti here, as well as savoiardi for Tiramisu’ (I liek the Vincenzovo) and Millefoglie d’Italia, a Vincenzi branded custardless Napolen-like snack pastry. Cantucci cookies are also on the shelves, better known in this country as biscotti.

Last- but not least!- the wines. Cost Plus has a reputation for being a bit of an unusual wine store. They carry an incredibly large selection of different wines from different area of the world, and the Italian section takes up quite a bit of space! You’ll find good prosecco and delicious chianti, along with the occasional supertuscan like Sassicaia. Take some time to browse, it is worth your time!

Cost Plus World Market
Various locations around the Bay Area

2 Responses to “The Grocery List: Cost Plus World Market”

  1. Hi Vanessa,

    Thanks for your blog. I went to one World Market in San Jose and didn’t find the cookie in the photo you posted. Actually I am looking for Millefoglie d’Italia. Could you let me know which Cost Plus world Market you took the pictures? TIA.

  2. Keep in mind these are pictures from 2008, so it wouldn’t be unusual if you were not able to find those… but I was in the Redwood City World Plus recently and they had them in stock. They seem to be pretty common in other Italian groceries these days, so just give a call to some close to your house (I am thinking Lunardi’s, for example, or Woodside Deli) and you should be able to find them easily! Good luck!

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