Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sanibel Treats for Discriminating Tastes

There is little we miss about New Jersey since moving to Southwest Florida.

Yes, friends and family to be sure.

But Sanibel Island and the surrounding area offer so much to see and do--- and in sunshine most every day--- that it is difficult to feel nostalgic.

But one thing, til now, that was missing on the Island and throughout the state was authentic Italian bread. There are approximates, and they come close, but no prize I'm afraid. But along comes Dolce Tesoro and a whole new world of the staff of life springs into being.

Dolce Tesoro is a tiny space with so much in the way of good smells that just opening the door is an incredible deja vu. It takes us back to the best of bakeries that dot the northern New Jersey and New York City map. The diminutive shop sells sweets of all kinds from tiramisu to a variety of gelatos, but the most exciting of the offerings is the Italian bread. Yes, it's that good according to all who have sampled it, even the most discriminating and knowledgeable of culinary enthusiasts !

The owners claim to have wanted to create a little taste of Italy, and they have accomplished their mission beautifully.

And speaking of Italian taste, for those not able to eat the bread at Dolce Tesoro, they have another kind of treat. The expanded gluten free menu at the delightful restaurant Matzaluna has been expanded. The once sampled and raved about gluten free eggplant parmigiana is now joined by such delicious menu items as pasta fagioli, stuffed mushrooms, shrimp fra diavolo and a variety of gluten free pizzas. So take heart you wheat intolerant and celiac diners...there is something on the table for you with no compromise in taste value.

On a diet and staying away from bread and high carb options? Well maybe the new Sanibel Perfume will please your nose as much as the smell of food. A blend of spicy citrus and tropical flora and is available to you as a perfume, body lotion, bath gel, and bath and body oil. It's a delightful scent and comes in a lovely box and bottle with, of course, a seashell design on the packaging.

Several shops on the Island sell it, and we bought a few bottles as gifts at Pandora's Box at its new location. Pandora's, old and new, has lovely merchandising in the shop. There is a wide variety of "treasures" that can be purchased for your own use or gifts to take home.

For a small island, mostly a nature preserve, Sanibel offers up a wonderful and engaging way to spend non beach time with its variety of restaurants and specialty shops.

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