Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Norwegian Codfather—Chambersburg, PA

Okay, I feel like a jerk as I write this post...

You see, I thought I had written this post over a year ago because I'd been dreaming about this little shop for a year.  AND I told some very important people that I'd written it!  They probably think I am a total liar... Oh, geez.

So, my aim is to make it up to them.  (Tom and Pauline, this one's for you.)

Tom and Pauline, for those of you who have not had the delight of meeting them, own a small European grocery in my old hometown of Chambersburg, PA.  No offense meant to my heritage, but when I heard that they existed, I really did not know what to expect.  A European grocery? In Chambersburg?

But Luke, the fabulous chef from Cafe d'Italia just around the corner from them, recommended them to me for some fantastic prosciutto he had used on a white pizza.  The name of their establishment? The Norwegian Codfather.  I had to check them out...

OH, dear Lord, was I glad I did! The treatment! The finds! A deli case stocked with sausages, meats, and cheeses you can't find anywhere else: a sharp provolone that will take your lasagna from good to glorious.  Smoked bacon that I put on ice and drove for 13 hours so I could have some at home for breakfast. Caramelized goat cheese that you can shave into divine little curls and serve for dessert with fruit.  And then there's the licorice.  Licorice like you've never had before.  REAL licorice.  There's even one that is salted.  (My dad finds excuses to go into town just for that!)  And all of this Tom and Pauline offer you to try before you buy. You will even find yourself tasting items that you would never have asked (or thought you wanted) to try--because Tom and Pauline know: the foods they sell are superb, and all it takes is one taste...

On top of all this foodie wonder, The Norwegian Codfather sells random European baking and cooking ingredients that I've read about and wanted to try but have never been able to find without ordering it online.  Like pearled sugar for sprinkling on a braided lemon bread.  And rosewater for cocktails.  Juniper berries for a braised meat dish.

It really, truly is a shop you must explore, at least once.  And here's the ultimate reason why: after last year's visit, I absolutely HAD to go back this past Christmas break, and--can you believe it? They remembered me.

THAT, my dear foodie friend, is what Life is about.  Amazing food made even more amazing by the relationships we build with the people we share it with.  Even if it's just for an hour once a year.

**UPDATE as of Jan. 2016**

I am so sorry to see that the Norwegian Codfather has closed.  I made the discovery a little over a week ago when I tried to visit while back in PA.  Tom and Pauline, you will be greatly missed.  I hope that your closed doors have opened up a new adventure for you elsewhere! Best wishes to you both!

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