Friday, July 29, 2011

Tastes of the 2011 Italian-American Heritage Festival of Iowa

Baratta's grinder. No melted cheese atop. None is needed, and would have been a distraction from the saucy, well spiced sausage Scornovacca's grinder. The sausage is a little more saucier as Baratta's, but not nearly as flavorful. The cheese adds little for flavor to this sandwich. This grinder would appeal to those who shy away from spicy foods.

Scornavacca's sausage pizza. Chewy crust, crunchy edge. Mild red sauce, a few pieces of Italian sausage. Cheese is the most dominate flavor. Kids will like enjoy this slice. Bordenaro's sausage pizza. Thin tavern-style crust, crisp on the edge. In fact, it shatters. A spicy pizza, the zest lingers for minutes. Would have enjoyed this slice more if it had not dried out in the pizza carousel.

Gusto's Sinatra pizza. Pepperoni cut into strips is a nice variation. Sauce has a nice savoriness, with a flavor reminiscent of mild red chile. Thin crust like Bordy's, but the edge is crisp without being dried out. Gusto's Frank's Pizza. The eggplant melts in your mouth. Pesto, balsamic vinaigrette, and the odd chunk of Roma tomato add zip. Crust really shines with these complimentary toppings. Nice light char on the bottom, more pronounced on the edge.

Baratta's meatballs. Firmer than the rest with a definite chew. Swimming in red sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan. These would be best in a baked pasta dish.

Gusto's meatballs. Adorned with roasted bells and pickled banana peppers: by far the best presentation. Tender, yielding to the bite. Simmered in a rustic tomato sauce. The flavor lingers well after the meatball is just a memory.

Society of Italian Americans Auxiliary’s 'giant' meatballs. These skewed balls give me man-pain just looking at them. "The biggest balls of them all," Bon Scott would likely proclaim. But the size is deceptive. These meatballs are tender, flavorful, comforting. Good lingering zest, with a slight burn in the throat.

Photos from the Picasa Web Album: Tastes of the Italian-American Heritage Festival of Iowa

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