You know the feeling, when you are somewhere and you smell familiar things that makes you feel at home? Last week I went with 2 friends to Raineri in Genk (eastern part of Belgium) to by some wine and Italian products. One of my and my brother’s favorite shops. Every time I enter this shop I instantly feel in Italy (like I was Beamed up like scotty by Captain Kirk in Star Trek). The smell really brings me right to my Nonna’s kitchen (and man do I loove that kitchen). I think even my friends felt it?! Entering Raineri is really great, because everywhere you look you see ITALY, every product, ingredient, etc… The first image when entering in the shop is like a picture in a frame. They even have lots of products of their own, like their Ligurian olive oil (that I always buy). Usually I take their Biologica (just because I like the taste, no other purpose) , but all of them are really good for putting on salads, etc… For cooking I would find it a waste of using such a good product and burning it. They have a whole wall with all different kinds of pasta… it’s not an easy job choosing… If you have doubts or questions or want extra info, the staff of this shop is really friendly and helpful. You can really see their passion for what they do when they helping you finding the product you want.
In case I’m not hungry yet when putting the first step in the shop, you can be sure I will be hungry by the time I see their counter. At that moment my stomach is going like “Hey buddy, gimmi some food” . Fresh lasagna’s, cannelloni , ravioli, gnocchi, all nominations of dried hams (Parma, San Daniele, etc..), cheeses, ….
Then walking down to the basement, you will find a wide variety of Italian wines and this in the setting of an old/new wine cellar.
Some nice wines I’ve bought there from Azienda Marcato: ‘IL TIRSO’ SOAVE CLASSICO SUPERIORE DOCG and BARATTARO IGT NOIR. And you should really try the “Durello Met. Tradizionale DOC 36mesi” (jammi) But feel free to pass by, Raineri sometimes has wine/ food tastings.
Worth the stop!!