Wednesday, December 15, 2010

tosi time toss

 Sandwiched between the Chinatown cacophony of East Georgia and Keefer Street on Main Street sprawls the cavernous premises of the nostalgically real italiano deli and import foodstore of TOSI and Company...
I have never known of its existence until walking by the other day and noticing the grimy and haphazard window display - or rather, non-display of boxes and cans with seriously faded labels and dusty plastic canisters! 
I had to ring a bell to be let in and I walked into a murky time warped chamber filled with an epicurean jumble of a more peasanty persuasion from another era - I don't believe the shelves and counter tops have changed much since like about 1910!
In a Vancouver that is constantly in flux and nestled in a Chinatown that is losing its original lustre, this throw-back of an authentic italian pioneer enterprise was an unexpected and oddly delightful stumbled upon discovery for someone who has only lived here for over 30 years!

[when we were waiting to pay for a package of tagliatelle, the character from central casting behind the counter was speaking in italian on the telephone to Signore Tosi Jr. himself to ask for instructions about when to plant the chicory seeds that the customer ahead of us was buying...
needless to say, it was slightly jarring to walk out the door of this time-[and scent]-muddled yet shabbily atmospheric food emporium of the TOSI family and be right back in Vancouver Chinatown again!]

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