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Fearless Critic restaurant review
New Haven
Groceries, Italian
Market

Hours
Mon–Sat 8:30am–6:00pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx

www.liuzzicheese.com

North Haven
322 State St.
North Haven, CT
(203) 248-4356
Liuzzi’s Cheese Shop
The cheese selection is now rivaled by Caseus, but they’ve got great Italian meats, too

Liuzzi’s carries more than just cheese, but if you love cheese, you may never leave this store. On an average day, there are more than 350 varieties, including the homemade caciocavallo, a gourd-shaped cheese that is rarely seen in these parts. In the event of a Hollywood-epic-style natural disaster, we hope to be caught here, where every inch of shelf space bears closely stacked Italian specialties, including delightful jewel-toned soda bottles. The deli section is crammed with enormous plates of antipasti, and the butcher’s counter displays perfectly marbled Angus beef alongside outsized coils of sausage, and imported prosciutto and mortadella.

In addition to the meat counter, deli, and specialty dry goods, there’s a lunchtime offering of sandwiches, soups, and stuffed breads that change daily, and some prepared foods to heat up for dinner. Come Christmas, there’s an authentic array of panettone.

The Liuzzi’s story could make for classic cinema. The family hails from Puglia, at the heel of the boot of Italy, where the original Domenico Liuzzi had a dairy farm. Domenico had a son, Pasquale, who worked beside his father, learning the art of making ricotta, among other local cheeses. Pasquale begat another Domenico, and that Domenico had his own Pasquale, who dreamt of coming to America.

And so he did, in 1960, bringing with him generations of artisanal expertise. After 19 years of managing someone else’s cheese factory, he decided to go into business with his brother.

Although the store also sells a wide range of imports, to this day Liuzzi’s makes cheese in-house, including sublime ricotta and “basket cheese,” a deliciously fresh farmer’s cheese that one could eat for breakfast or dessert. This is also the place to get fresh mozzarella, along with some stern advice about how it should be treated. (“Cut it into thin slices. Very thin. Do you have a mandoline?”)

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